Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE (OTC: LVMUY), commonly referred to as LVMH or Louis Vuitton, is a French luxury conglomerate formed from the 1987 merger of the renowned fashion house Louis Vuitton and wines and spirits company Moët Hennessy. The merger created one of the world's premier sellers of luxury products. Moët Hennessy itself was the product of a merger between Moët & Chandon—the producer of the luxury champagne brand Dom Perignon—and cognac maker Hennessy in 1971. Though LVMH has been in existence in its current form since 1987, the Louis Vuitton brand in particular has a much longer history, having been launched by its namesake founder in 1854.

Today, LVMH owns 75 brands in 6 business groups, which are: Wines & Spirits; Fashion & Leather Goods, Perfumes & Cosmetics, Watches & Jewelry, Selective Retailing, and Other Activities. These business groups own brands such as Fendi, Givenchy, TAG Heuer, and many more.

Since 1989, Louis Vuitton has been led by Chairman and CEO Bernard Arnault. Arnault took a majority stake in the company and has since guided LVMH in a fast-paced acquisition spree, picking up dozens of new acquisitions in the past three decades. The company has seen major success with its strategy of acquiring many different luxury brands across multiple areas; it reported revenue of €53.7 billion in 2019.

LVMH's latest major deal is its planned purchase of luxury jewelry company Tiffany & Co. (TIF) for approximately $18 billion. Below, we'll explore 5 out of several dozen acquisitions LVMH has made throughout its history. LVMH does not typically provide revenue and sales figures for its individual brands.

Bulgari

  • Type of Business: Luxury goods
  • Acquisition price: €3.7 billion
  • Date of purchase: March 7, 2011

Known for creativity and colorful jewelry designs, Bulgari has been at the forefront of luxury goods since its founding in 1884 by Sotirio Bulgari. The deal, which LVMH announced in March of 2011, dramatically expanded the company's Watches & Jewelry business group. The acquisition included the purchase of a 50.4% stake in Bulgari from the Bulgari family, as well as a tender offer for the remainder of the company.

Watches & Jewelry remains one of the smaller LVMH groups when it comes to profit. In 2019, this group delivered €0.7 billion profit on €4.4 billion in revenue. Without providing specific figures for Bulgari sales, LVMH described the brand's performance over the year as "strong."

Fendi

  • Type of Business: Fashion
  • Acquisition price: Estimated $259.4 million to acquire majority stake (see below). 
  • Date of purchase: November 24, 2001

Italian luxury fashion house Fendi was founded by Adele and Edoardo Fendi in 1925. The company is known for its fur, leather goods and other luxury products. LVMH earlier bought a stake in Fendi and then became a majority stakeholder in 2001. LVMH's ownership began when it and Prada each bought a 25.5% stake in Fendi in 2000. Then, LVMH became the majority stakeholder in November, 2001 when it agreed to buy Prada's stake. In so doing, LVMH continued to add to its growing stable of luxury and designer brands.

LVMH's Fashion and Leather Goods group, of which Fendi is a part, generated €7.3 billion in profit on €22.2 billion in revenue in 2019.

Christian Dior

  • Type of Business: Fashion
  • Acquisition price: 1 franc
  • Date of purchase: 1984

Fashion giant Christian Dior is famous for its designer clothing, and is part LVMH's highly profitable Fashion and Leather Goods group. The brand was founded in 1946 by its namesake founder. Bernard Arnault's investment in Christian Dior predates the existence of LVMH as it currently stands. Arnault purchased Parisian textile group Boussac, in bankruptcy protection, in 1984 for a symbolic one franc. Boussac's assets included Christian Dior. The Dior brand has proven a staple of Arnault's holdings—and, in turn, LVMH's business—ever since. In 2017, LVMH and Arnault proposed a complex $13.1 billion transaction to consolidate the company's ownership of Dior by buying out minority shareholders.

Sephora

  • Type of Business: Personal care and beauty products
  • Acquisition price: Not Available
  • Date of purchase: July, 1997  

Founded in 1969, Sephora is a retailer of personal care and beauty items with roughly 15,000 different products on offer at this time. At the time of LVMH's acquisition, Sephora was part of a family of brands owned by founder Dominique Mandonnaud. LVMH's Selective Retailing business group, of which Sephora is a part, generated €1.4 billion in profit on €14.8 billion in revenue in 2019. LVMH indicated that this performance was driven by Sephora's strong performance around the world.

Veuve Clicquot

  • Type of Business: Champagne
  • Acquisition price: Not Available
  • Date of purchase: 1986

Founded in the late 18th century by Philippe Clicquot, the Clicquot winemaking business that eventually became Veuve Clicquot was well known in its early years among Champagne connoisseurs across Europe and the U.S. The company is credited with inventing rosé Champagne.

Louis Vuitton purchased Veuve Clicquot in 1986, just a year before the fashion company merged with Moët Hennessy. In 2019, Louis Vuitton saw total revenue of €5.6 billion from its Wines and Spirits group, of which Veuve Clicquot is a significant member.