The Belmond Jimbaran Puri is the company’s luxury resort on the island of Bali.

Christmas has come early for the LVMH Group (Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton) as the conglomerate of luxury brands has signed an agreement to acquire Belmond Ltd – a collection of 46 luxury hotels, restaurants, trains and river cruises – for USD$3.2 billion (AUD$4.5 billion).

The definitive agreement comes following the engagement of Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan Securities as financial advisors by Belmond shareholders in August. The sale of the company was designed as part of a full company review and restructure and will see the company acquired for USD$25 (AUD$34.82) per share, which will be paid in cash to shareholders.

Belmond’s move to sell and go private comes as part of the company review, set up to stimulate market activity for the company and improve value for shareholders.

The company operates in 24 countries including Thailand and Indonesia, with luxury hotels in its portfolio such as the Belmond Jimbaran Puri in Bali and Belmond Napasari in Koh Samui.

In addition to its namesake Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton brands, LVMH also owns and operates global household names such as Dom Pérignon, Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin among its fine champagne brands and fashion labels such as Christian Dior Couture, Givenchy, Emilio Pucci, Marc Jacobs and Sephora. Timepiece manufacturers including TAG Heuer and Hublot also fall under its umbrella.

In Thailand, Belmond operates the Napasai Resort in Koh Samui.

Through its latest acquisition, LVMH plans to expand its reach into luxury hotels. The company already operates the Cheval Blanc Maisons brand and in select markets, operates hotels aligned with other key brands such as the Bvlgari Hotel Dubai.

Belmond Chairman Ronald Hernandez said after careful review and numerous offers, the Board decided the sale to LVMH was the best move forward for its shareholders.

“Today’s announcement is the result of the strong execution of our strategic vision that builds on our pioneering legacy and is an exciting development for all stakeholders, including our employees. We are confident that, as part of LVMH’s world-class family of brands, Belmond’s ability to deliver timeless, one-of-a-kind luxury experiences will reach new levels,” Belmond President and CEO Roeland Vos added.

The acquisition is expected to close in the first half of 2019.