Belmond is being taken over for $2.6 billion by luxury group LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton.

The two companies revealed today that they had entered into a definitive agreement for LVMH to acquire Belmond.

The deal is expected to be completed in the first half of 2019.

Belmond operates in 24 countries with a portfolio of 46 hotel, rail and river cruise businesses.

The company’s properties include Hotel Cipriani in Venice, Hotel Splendido in Portofino, Copacabana Palace in Rio de Janeiro, Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons in Oxfordshire and Cap Juluca in Anguilla.

It also runs the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express and Belmond Royal Scotsman as well cruise interests such as Belmond Afloat in France fleet and Belmond Road to Mandalay.

Belmond recorded total revenues of $572 million and adjusted earnings [ebitda] of $140 million in the year to September 30, 2018.

LVMH chairman and CEO Bernard Arnault said: “Belmond delivers unique experiences to discerning travelers and owns a number of exceptional assets in the most desirable destinations.

“Its heritage, its innovative services, its excellence in execution and its entrepreneurship resonates well with the values of the group and is complementary to our own Cheval Blanc maisons and the Bvlgari hotels activities.

“This acquisition will significantly increase LVMH’s presence in the ultimate hospitality world.”

Belmond chairman Roland Hernandez said: “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.”

President and CEO Roeland Vos added: “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.”