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French billionaire Bernard Arnault has swooped to take full control of fashion house Christian Dior in a deal worth €12.1bn.

The Arnault Family Group and LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton has announced a twofold strategic project to strengthen its fashion and leathergoods business with the acquisition of the Christian Dior brand in a €12.1bn ($13bn) deal.

"This is a good acquisition for LVMH in our view given the strong brand of Christian Dior, good use of its balance sheet and it reunites the Christian Dior brand with the very profitable perfume operation that LVMH operates", Barclays analysts wrote in a research note.

In addition, LVMH's Fashion & Leather Goods division will purchase Christian Dior Couture for 6.5 billion euros.

The Arnault family already owns controlling stakes in both Dior and LVMH.

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Under the current group structure, Christian Dior Couture is wholly owned by Christian Dior SA, which for its part also holds a 41-percent stake in LVMH.

The initial cash-and-Hermes-shares offer for Christian Dior would be followed by another secondary offer, valuing each Dior share at 260 euros - a premium of 14.7 percent compared to Dior's closing price of 226.85 euros on April 24. Dior shares jumped 13 percent to a new high of 256 euros.

Mr Arnault said the deal was an "important milestone".

Set up 70 years ago, Christian Dior Couture "is one the most iconic brands worldwide", LVMH said. They illustrate the commitment of my family group and emphasise its confidence in the long-term perspectives of LVMH and its brands.


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