Tuesday, March 8, 2011

LVMH Acquires Bulgari Diamond House for $6 Billion

The Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH) luxury goods group is acquiring the venerable Italian jewelry house Bulgari for $6 billion, news outlets report.

LVMH Managing Director Antonio Belloni said that the diamond jewelry powerhouse represented the group's biggest purchase in 20 years. Both LVMH and Bulgari see the deal as a way of increasing LVMH's luxury jewelry and watch business and help the group launch in "promising" developing markets like Russia, India, the Middle East, and China, which in 2010 moved past Japan to become the world's No. 2 consumer of diamonds after the US.

Under the terms of the deal, Bulgari Chief Executive Francesco Trapani will receive a seat on the LVMH board and will also direct the group's jewelry and watch division, which includes the De Beers, Chaumet, and Hublot brands.

Bulgari was founded in 1884 by Sotirios Bulgari and the diamond company's flagship store opened on Via Condotti in Rome in 1905. Since then, the luxury jewelry and watch chain has expanded to include 260 stores worldwide.

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