By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Considered the most famous hotel in the country, Rio de Janeiro’s Belmond Copacabana Palace has been sold to French group LVMH as part of a total deal worth US$3.25 billion. The deal depends on the approval of the company’s shareholders and Brazilian regulatory bodies.
The current owner, Belmond has 46 luxury hotels, restaurants, trains and cruises around the world, all of which were sold to the luxury brand conglomerate LVMH.
“We are very happy with the news and for being part of the largest conglomerate of Luxury brands in the world,” said Copacabana Palace’s press office.
The buyer group is also the holding company of luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton, Guerlain, Christian Dior, Donna Karam, Moët & Chandon, Fendi, Sephora and Le Bon Marché.
The Copacabana Palace, inaugurated in August 1923, has hosted legendary parties and hundreds of the world’s greatest celebrities roamed the hotel’s hallways and stayed in its ample rooms. Celebrities like Brigitte Bardot, Louis Armstrong, Madonna, Princess Diana, Freddie Mercury, Paul McCartney and Mick Jagger.
The Palace, located in the famous Copacabana neighborhood, even registered the expulsion of singer Janis Joplin after she was caught swimming naked in its famous swimming pool months before she died.
“Through this acquisition, LVMH will significantly increase its presence in the ultimate luxury hotel world,” read the statement issued by Belmond Chairman of the Board of Directors Roland Hernandez after the end of negotiations.
In addition to the Copacabana Palace in Rio de Janeiro, the Belmond also owned the Hotel das Cataratas in Foz do Iguaçu, which was also sold to LVMH.
French expatriate Charlie Jonas of Rio Exclusive luxury real estate firm, explained, “It is a great sign for luxury travel around the world that LVMH bought the Group Belmond who owns 46 iconic hotels around the world, river cruises and famous trains like the Orient Express.”
Jonas continues, “This US$3.2 billion dollars purchase is not [only] about the Copacabana Palace but a much wider group that is Belmond. This acquisition will enable LVMH, known for its ready-to-wear, accessories and wines and spirits brands, to strengthen its presence in the hospitality sector.”
“The acquisition of Belmond, perfectly fits with their Cheval Blanc and Bulgari hotels activities and will significantly strengthen the presence of the LVMH group in the world of exceptional hospitality,” added Jonas.
Correction: This article has been updated on December 18th to clarify that the entire Belmond group was sold to the LVMH conglomerate for US$3.25 billion and not only the Copacabana Palace.