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LVMH, Accor team up to develop Orient Express brand



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LVMH Orient Express. Credits: LVMH

French hotel group Accor and luxury goods giant LVMH said Thursday they had entered into a "strategic partnership" to develop the fabled Orient Express brand.

LVMH will team up with Accor through "a strategic investment in the Orient Express brand, in the company that will operate the future hotels and trains, and in the entity that will own the two sailing ships", the companies said.

The first ship is currently under construction in France, and the two groups will continue to search together for a third partner for the venture.

Accor acquired the Orient Express brand in 2022. Financial terms of Thursday's deal were not publicised.

The legendary luxury train, the Orient Express, operated between 1883 and 1977 and linked Paris to Constantinople, then Istanbul.

"Orient Express is a legend ever since its creation 140 years ago," Sebastien Bazin, Accor group chairman and CEO, said in a statement.

"With LVMH today, we are opening a new chapter in this exciting journey, with the ambition of exploring new horizons and embodying the audacity and creative passion that drive our groups."

Bernard Arnault, LVMH group chairman and CEO, said the partnership aimed to accelerate "the renewal of this travel icon".

"Orient Express epitomises the art of refined living and the audacity that drives each of our Houses," he added in the statement.

Accor is planning to open luxury hotels under the Orient Express name in Rome and Venice, and the launch of the first Orient Express sailing ship is set for 2026.

LVMH already operates the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express luxury train service through its subsidiary, Belmond.(AFP)