LVMH takes control of Christian Dior in mammoth deal

The French luxury group LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE has gained full control of the 70-year-old Parisian fashion house Christian Dior in a mammoth deal worth around €12.1 billion.

The deal, valuing at €260 per share, would simplify LVMH's relationship with Christian Dior by buying out minority shareholders.

Billionaire Bernard Arnault, who has a net worth of $46.3 billion, has announced it was buying the remaining 26 per cent of Christian Dior it does not yet own, folding the couture house into its group for €6.5 billion. Arnault took control of Dior's and Louis Vuitton's parent companies in the 1980s and later added brands that range from fashion retailer Fendi to jeweler Bulgari and suitcase maker Rimowa.

The two-part transaction deal marks one of LVMH's biggest ever acquisitions and adds Christian Dior Couture to its fold to join Dior perfumes and beauty which the French luxury empire already owns during a 1960s-era transaction to raise capital for the then-troubled fashion house whose designers over the years have ranged from Pierre Cardin to John Galliano.

LVMH, which is controlled by the Arnault family by 47 percent, announced the full acquisition will also boost the earnings of the group from the first year. The transaction is expected to be completed during the second half of 2017.

Arnault has said the deal would "allow the simplification of the structures, long requested by the market, and the strengthening of LVMH's fashion and leather goods division thanks to the acquisition of Christian Dior Couture, one of the most iconic brands worldwide."

Designer Christian Dior, who died in 1957, founded the House of Dior in 1946, with backing from businessman Marcel Boussac. Since then, it has expanded into perfume, watches and accessories and the couture arm has 198 stores worldwide.

The luxury label continued its growth momentum over the last twelve months, with revenue in excess of €2 billion, an earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization of €418m3 and profit from recurring operations of €270 million.

The acquisition will be accretive (+2.7 per cent on a pro forma basis) to LVMH earnings per share from the first year.

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