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04 Jul 2024

Stephenson Harwood advises Accor on a strategic partnership with LVMH

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Stephenson Harwood has advised Accor, the French multinational hospitality company, in the set-up of a strategic partnership with LVMH to accelerate the development of the Orient Express brand.

In the framework of this new partnership, the two groups have invested in an entity that will operate future Orient Express hotels and trains, as well as in the entity owner of two sailing cruise yachts.

This project involved the creation of a new luxury cruise line in France, as well as the recruitment of specialised teams to operate the cruise yachts. Two cruise yachts are currently being built by Les Chantiers de l'Atlantique, and the first cruise yacht, the Orient Express Silenseas Corinthia, should set sail in 2026.

Stephenson Harwood advised Accor on the structuring of the group of companies managing and operating the cruise business, on the shareholders investments in this group, and on the bank financing of the new sailing cruise entity.

The overall project was led by Paris-based partner Alain Gautron with the support on financing matters by of counsel Hortense Atthenont-Duret and associate Kamarya El Yaagoubi, and, on the corporate aspects of the transaction, partner Clotilde Billat and associate Opale Malet. Further support was provided by tax partner Evelyne Bagdassarian, and partner Boriana Guimberteau on intellectual property matters. In London, partners Dan Holland and Naomi Leach advised on commercial agreement aspects.

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