El Encanto's Parent Company Purchased by French Luxury Brand
Belmond El Encanto (courtesy photo)
By edhat staff
Global French luxury brand LVMH is purchasing the upscale Belmond hotel company which includes the El Encanto on Santa Barbara's Riviera.
LVMH, who also owns the Louis Vuitton, Moët, and Hennessy brands, will pay $2.6 billion for the Belmond company which owns 46 luxury hotel, restaurant, train, and river cruise properties.
In the twelve months ended September 30, 2018, Belmond recorded total revenues of $572 million. The transaction is expected to complete in the first half of 2019 subject to the approval of Belmond’s shareholders and clearance by the relevant competition authorities, according to a joint press release.
Roland Hernandez, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Belmond Ltd, commented: “Following a strategic review that attracted broad and deep interest from a wide range of real estate and lodging companies, sovereign wealth institutions and other financial buyers around the world, the Board has concluded that this transaction with LVMH provides compelling and certain value for our shareholders as well as an exciting path forward with a group that appreciates Belmond’s irreplaceable assets and strong management team.”
Belmond, formerly known as Orient Express, announced in August it was putting itself up for sale. They previously took seven years to renovate and reconstruct the El Encanto property and reopened it in 2013.
With a deep history in Santa Barbara, the property was established in the early 1900s with an official opening on February 2, 1918. El Encanto Hotel and Garden Villas quickly became popular with Hollywood's elite and politicians. President Franklin D. Roosevelt enjoyed a stay as did Clark Gable, Carole Lombard, and John Kennedy, Jr.
LVMH previously stated it was looking to expand into luxury experiences as a way to introduce younger consumers to its established goods brands. The company also owns Bulgari hotels and the Cheval Blanc luxury resort properties.