LVMH Bernard Arnault's first foray into luxury yachts

Bernard Arnault, CEO of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, the largest luxury-goods maker, said on September the 2nd that he had agreed to buy Royal van Lent, a 160-year-old maker of custom-designed yachts from the Dutch investment company Egeria.

Royal van Lent, a Netherlands based company that has manufactured more than 800 yachts ever since its founding, designs and builds to order yachts over 50 meters, or 165 feet, a market that has grown 20 percent a year since 2000, Paris-based LVMH said in a statement. The companies did not disclose the exact financial terms but the French newspaper Les Echos (owned by LVMH) spoke of a "few hundreds of million euros' transaction".

The company's luxury yachts sell for an average of €30 million, or $44 million, each. These ships are reserved for the wealthiest clientele of the world. The group insists on the similarities between its existing brands like Vuitton or Moët & Chandon, and Royal van Lent: it’s a company producing handcrafted luxury goods and aiming at the same ultra select customers. Bernard Arnault's group will henceforth use its existing high profile customer network in mature and emerging countries to promote the growth of Royal van Lent.

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