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Luxury goods giant buys a piece of watchmaker Bulgari

Stephen Beard Mar 7, 2011
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JEREMY HOBSON: The French luxury goods company LVMH, has bought itself some jewelry. In fact, more than $5 billion worth. The company just announced it will buy the family-owned Italian jeweler and watchmaker, Bulgari.

From the European Desk, Marketplace’s Stephen Beard joins us now. Good Morning, Stephen.

STEPHEN BEARD: Hello Jeremy.

HOBSON: So first tell us about these companies.

BEARD: LVMH is the world’s largest luxury goods group and the Italian jeweler Bulgari is the smallest major jewelry maker. What is going to happen with this is LVHM is getting a 51 percent stake in Bulgari. This is turning LVMH into an even bigger collection of luxury brands. They already have fashion brands like Louis Vuitton, and Fendi and Christian Dior and Jeremy, they’ll have absolutely no trouble celebrating this deal. They own champagne brands like Dom Perignon, Krug and Veuve Clicquot.

HOBSON: All right well Stephen the luxury goods market has experienced a slightly different recovery than the rest of the economy. Put this deal in context for us.

BEARD: Austerity is certainly out of fashion for those that can afford it now. And analysts say this deal is a sign of success. Business in the luxury goods market is booming, especially in China, and in other big emerging markets. So this deal will help the company exploit the surging Asian demand for high class bling.

HOBSON: And what about you Stephen, you got an high class bling on right now?

BEARD: Why do you think I’m working in radio Jeremy? No. And I’m wearing a $15 watch.

HOBSON: Marketplace’s Stephen Beard in London. Thanks.

BEARD: Ok Jeremy.

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