LVMH has announced an agreement to acquire the Belmond hotel group (formerly known as Orient Express Hotels).

The owner of the Moet and Chandon, Hennessy and Louis Vuitton brands says the $3.2 billion deal will see it takeover Belmond’s portfolio of 46 hotel, rail and river cruise experiences in 24 countries.

Belmond properties include Hotel Cipriani in Venice, Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons in Oxfordshire, and The Cadogan in London, the last of which is due to reopen in early 2019 following refurbishment.

Commenting on the news Bernard Arnault, Chairman and Chief Executive Offer of LVMH, said:

“Belmond delivers unique experiences to discerning travellers and owns a number of exceptional assets in the most desirable destinations.

“Its heritage, its innovative services, its excellence in execution and its entrepreneurship resonates well with the values of the Group and is complementary to our own Cheval Blanc maisons and the Bvlgari hotels activities. This acquisition will significantly increase LVMH’s presence in the ultimate hospitality world.”

The transaction is expected to complete in the first half of 2019, subject to shareholder and competition authority approval.,