LVMH gets first German brand on board
French luxury group LVMH has acquired a majority stake in RIMOWA, under a new agreement that makes the luggage and leather goods maker part of the LVMH family.
The new agreement makes RIMOWA, which is expecting more than 400 million euros in revenue for 2016, the first German brand to join the group.
Dieter Morszeck, the grandson of RIMOWA’s founder, has chosen to partner with LVMH while “continuing to hold equity in the business and maintaining leadership functions,” an LVMH statement read.
The transaction is still subject to the approval of the competition authorities, relates to 80 per cent of the shares for a value of €640m and is due to be completed in January 2017.
Upon completion, Alexandre Amault will be appointed co-CEO of RIMOWA.
“My grandfather founded RIMOWA more than a century ago and I joined the company 44 years ago. By entrusting this family venture to the LVMH Group, we are guaranteeing a promising future to all RIMOWA employees,” Morszeck said in a statement.
“Over the past two years I have had the opportunity to establish close ties with the Arnault family and, in particular, with Alexandre. Alexandre and I have discussed at length the attractive development prospects available to us and the common values that we share. I am delighted that he is joining RIMOWA and I have full confidence in his ability to accelerate the development of the business by my side,” he added.
A German story
RIMOWA was founded in 1898 by Paul Morszeck and has over the years become one of the few quintessential, high-quality luggage makers, emphasising the ease of use and the light weight of the products.
It now serves as an industry benchmark for German quality.
After Paul’s reign, his son Richard launched the first aluminum suitcase on the market in 1937, an innovation that played a big role in building the RIMOWA reputation and raising awareness among international clients.
Richard’s son Dieter designed the first waterproof metal case in 1976. By that time, RIMOWA bags had become the travelling partner to the world’s greatest filmmakers and photographers, among other elite groups.
RIMOWA launched the first polycarbonate suitcase in 2000 under a patented system of ball bearings to ensure stability.
Since 2014, RIMOWA has been developing an exclusive “Boss Nova” range, which combines lightweight polycarbonate with leather. This range is regarded as a tribute to English artist and botanist Margaret Mee, a famous painter and activist who has worked on protecting plants from the Amazon.
Keeping up with technology, RIMOWA recently launched the RIMOWA Electronic Tag, a feature that simplifies baggage check-in by matching, with the use of a Smartphone, the boarding card with a Bluetooth electronic tag integrated only within RIMOWA suitcases.
While working on this transaction, Morszeck has also created the RIMOWA Dieter Morszeck Foundation, to which a substantial part of the sale proceeds will be donated. The RIMOWA Dieter Morszeck Foundation aims to support projects in scientific research, public health, education and humanitarian aid, both in Germany and internationally.
Germany and internationally.