LVMH bags German luggage firm Rimowa
Luxury brand group LVMH has bought a controlling stake in upmarket German luggage maker Rimowa for €640m (£560m).
Founded more than a century ago, Rimowa is best known for the 1937 launch of an aluminium suitcase, recognisable by its parallel grooves.
The takeover deal follows Samsonite's $1.8bn (£1.4bn) purchase of New Jersey-based luggage maker Tumi earlier this year.
This is the first acquisition that France's LVMH has made in Germany.
It will acquire an 80% stake when the deal is completed at the beginning of next year.
Dieter Morszeck, the grandson of Rimowa's founder, said the sale to LVMH guaranteed "a promising future to all Rimowa employees".
Mr Morszeck plans to donate a "substantial" part of the sale proceeds to the Rimowa Dieter Morszeck Foundation.
He will retain a share of the business and become co-chief executive of Rimowa, alongside LVMH's Alexandre Arnault, son of LVMH's chief executive Bernard.
The company also made the first lightweight polycarbonate suitcase in 2000.
Exane BNP Paribas analyst Luca Solca said the deal "follows the acquisition of Tumi by Samsonite, removing the only other meaningful high-end luggage brand from the market. Luggage should be favoured by the continuing development of tourism."