Louis Vuitton group LVMH takes control of Christian Dior in £10bn deal
French luxury empire LVMH has agreed to take full control of fashion giant Christian Dior in a mammoth deal worth around 12.1 billion euros (£10 billion).
Billionaire Bernard Arnault's LVMH - which houses a raft of brands including Louis Vuitton and Moet Hennessy - announced it was buying the remaining 26% of Christian Dior it does not already own, while also revealing it will fold the fashion house's 70-year old couture label into its group for 6.5 billion euros (£5.5 billion).
The deal, valuing Dior at 260 euros (£220) a share, marks one of LVMH's biggest ever acquisitions and sees it add Christian Dior Couture to its stable, joining Dior perfumes, which it has owned since the 1960s.
Mr Arnault said the deal was an "important milestone".
He added that it would "allow the simplification of the structures, long requested by the market, and the strengthening of LVMH's fashion and leather goods division thanks to the acquisition of Christian Dior Couture, one of the most iconic brands worldwide".
The Arnault family already owns controlling stakes in both Dior and LVMH.
They said the full acquisition of Dior will also boost LVMH earnings from the first year, with the transaction expected to be complete during the second half of 2017.
Designer Christian Dior founded the House of Dior in 1946, with backing from businessman Marcel Boussac.
It has since expanded into perfume, watches and accessories and the couture arm has 198 stores worldwide.
Designers Pierre Cardin and Yves Saint Laurent also once worked for the House of Dior.
Mr Dior died in 1957.