Louis Vuitton enters luxury hotels sector under Cheval Blanc brand
Respected luxury fashion and products group, Louis Vuitton, will be forming a partnership with Egypt's Orascom Development Holdings and entering the management business side of the luxury hotels market under the brand name of Cheval Blanc.
LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy) have teamed up with the Swiss-Egyptian listed property business, Orascom Development Holdings, and will be constructing two Middle East hotel resorts. The two luxury hotels will be managed by LVMH and will be built in Oman and Egypt providing luxury holidays for high end travellers from all over the world.
The additions to Oman hotels and Egypt hotels will be branded under the name, Cheval Blanc, which was formed by the CEO of LVMH's holding company, Bernard Amault, who entered the luxury hotels sector in the French Alps in 2006 with the Michelin-starred Cheval Blanc hotel and ski resort. LVMH will be looking to develop a luxury hotel brand around the Cheval Blanc and will be managing the business but not owning it, taking a share of the sales and profits.
The two luxury hotels are expected to be completed by 2012 and will feature 30 - 40 luxury suites, private villas, and private pool for travellers enjoying luxury holidays. The Egypt hotel will be developed on a private island in Aswan overlooking the Nile, and the Oman hotel will be located on the island of Sodah.
The management business will comprise a six-person team which will be headed by Olivier Lefebvre. Aside from luxury hotels, the established LVMH company owns over 60 worldwide brands including Marc Jacobs, Donna Karran, Givenchy, Thomas Pink, TAG Heuer, Glenmorangie, Moet et Chandon and of course Louis Vuitton.
The Paris-based company has a range of products under the LVMH brand including leather goods, fashion, watches, duty-free stores and wines and spirits. An analyst from Bernstein Research, Luca Solca, said:
"This looks at first sight an extravagant diversification but on closer inspection the move seems sensible. LVMH will control key choices in the development of these hotels but will commit no capex and retain no management risk. It will take a royalty from its partners and have a chance to display its brands. If this is how it works, I see no downside and possibly some upside."
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