Louis Vuitton buys Rimowa luggage

French luxury group Louis Vuitton has bought a controlling 80 per cent stake in the Rimowa luggage business.

Dieter Morszeck, grandson of the founder of Rimowa, believes partnering with the LVMH Group will preserve “the spirit of excellence and the long-term vision that have inspired his family and the company’s employees for over a century”.

Morszeck will sell a majority stake to the LVMH Group while continuing to hold equity in the business and maintaining his leadership functions, resulting in Rimowa becoming the first German Maison of the LVMH Group.

Upon completion of the transaction, Alexandre Arnault will be appointed co-CEO of Rimowa.

Founded in Cologne in 1898, luggage and leather goods maker Rimowa has become renowned for innovative, quality luggage over the course of the 20th century.

Since its creation by Paul Morszeck, innovation has been at the heart of Rimowa’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 Rimowa among a sophisticated international clientele. His son Dieter designed the first waterproof metal case in 1976, since which time Rimowa suitcases have become the travelling companion of choice for the greatest filmmakers, photographers and journalists.

Dieter Morszeck 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.”

Arnault added: “Rimowa is a superb business which I have followed as a loyal customer for many years. It 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.”

Morszeck has created the Rimowa Dieter Morszeck Foundation to which a substantial part of the sale proceeds will be donated. The foundation aims to support projects in scientific research, public health, education and humanitarian aid both in Germany and internationally.

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