LVMH acquires tech luggage manufacturer Rimowa

Dieter Morszeck, grandson of the founder of  Rimowa, the German high quality luggage manufacturer, has agreed to sell a majority stake (80% of the total share titles) of the company to the LVMH Group for a total consideration of €640 million.
Morszeck will keep an equity interest in the business and his leadership role as CEO in Rimowa.

Still subject to the approval of the competition authorities, the deal is expected to be completed in January 2017. Rimowa expects revenues exceeding €400 million in 2016.

On his side Dieter Morszeck has established the Rimowa Dieter Morszeck Foundation and will donate a substantial part of the sale proceeds to it. The Rimowa Dieter Morszeck Foundation aims to support projects in scientific research, public health, education and humanitarian aid both in Germany and internationally.

Dieter Morszeck (CEO, Rimowa). ©Rimowa.
Dieter Morszeck (CEO, Rimowa). ©Rimowa.

Once executed the sale agreement Rimowa will become the first German Maison belonging to the LVMH Group and Alexandre Arnault will be appointed co-CEO of the company.

Rimowa is credited for introducing cutting edge advances in the luggage segment. This company was the first polycarbonate suitcase in 2000. More recently, in partnership with Lufthansa, the German manufacturer launched the Rimowa Electronic Tag, that makes easier baggage check-in by matching, with the use of a smartphone, the boarding card with a Bluetooth electronic tag integrated only within suitcases of this brand.

For over 60 years, Rimowa suitcases have been inspired by the remarkable history of commercial aviation and the fuselage of the first metallic plane, the Junkers F-13.

Thanks to the financial support and pioneering spirit of RIMOWA, a seven year project made it possible to rebuild this legendary aircraft. The inaugural flight took place on September 15, 2016, nearly a century after its first commercial use in 1919. This revival embodies the heritage of the House.

Innovation at the core since 1898

Established in Cologne (Germany) in 1898, the luggage and leather goods maker Rimowa has become one of the most innovative, high-quality luggage brand along the the twentieth century.

The company has built its reputation designing lightweight and easy to use luggage. Rimowa suitcases today serve as the industry benchmark for German quality.

Rimowa waterproof (1976). ©Rimowa
Rimowa waterproof (1976). ©Rimowa

Since its creation by Paul Morszeck, innovation has always been at the heart of Rimowa’s’s strategy.
In 1937, his son Richard launched the first aluminium suitcase available on the market. The aluminium structure comprising parallel grooves makes the luggage instantly recognisable and has played its part in building the reputation of the brand among a sophisticated international clientele.
Richard Morszeck’s son, Dieter, designed the first waterproof metal case in 1976. Since then Rimowa suitcases have become the travelling companion of choice for the greatest filmmakers, photographers and journalists.

A patented system of ball bearings ensures optimum stability. Since 2014, Rimowa has also been developing its exclusive “Bossa Nova” range which combines lightweight polycarbonate with the elegance of leather. This suitcase is a tribute to the English artist and botanist Margaret Mee who devoted her life to painting and protecting plants from the Amazon.
Rimowa donates a portion of its sales to the Association Saúde e Alegria which supports social projects in the Amazon.

A win-win transaction

Dieter Morszeck (CEO of Rimowa) said: “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. 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.”

Bernard Arnault (President & CEO, LVMH). © LVMH
Bernard Arnault (President & CEO, LVMH). © LVMH

Alexandre Arnault (to become Co-CEO of Rimowa) said: “Rimowa is a superb business which I have followed as a loyal customer for many years. Rimowa has revolutionised the luggage industry for over a century, its suitcases are renowned for their unique performance, quality and design. I am honored to join Rimowa and to be working alongside Dieter.”

Bernard Arnault (Chairman & Chief Executive Officer LVMH Group) said: “Rimowa is a brand with a unique heritage. We share with Dieter Morszeck the same passion for innovation and a common desire to offer very high-quality products derived from a European tradition of craftsmanship. What’s more, it brings me great pleasure that Rimowa will be the first German house to join the LVMH Group. Germany is recognised all over the world for the vitality of its family businesses and for the quality of their products. I am glad that LVMH will now have an opportunity to be part of this thanks to Rimowa.”

Image over the headline.- Rimowa electronic tag. © Rimowa.

Related external links:

Rimowa electronic tag site


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