LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE agreed to take over suitcase maker Rimowa for 640 million euros ($716 million) and will put Alexandre Arnault in charge of the group’s first German asset, a sign that Bernard Arnault is expanding his offspring’s role in the luxury empire.
“LVMH is looking for brands that have heritage and a unique position,” said Mario Ortelli, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein. “They know that when they acquire these brands they can accelerate their development.”
Alexandre Arnault becomes the third of Bernard Arnault’s five children to take a leading role at the maker of TAG Heuer watches and Marc Jacobs fashions. Delphine Arnault, 41, heads the flagship Louis Vuitton brand, while her 39-year-old brother Antoine is CEO of shoemaker Berluti and chairman of Loro Piana. Alexandre is the eldest of three sons Bernard Arnault has had with his second wife, Helene Mercier.
Bernard Arnault, 67, has been broadening his children’s responsibilities to test them as potential successors. He’s not the only luxury mogul facing a succession quandary: Giorgio Armani and Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld are in their 80s, while Roberto Cavalli is 75.