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Samsonite nears deal to buy luggage maker Tumi: WSJ

[SINGAPORE] Samsonite International SA is nearing an acquisition of luxury luggage maker Tumi Holdings Inc, and a deal could be announced as soon as this week, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing unnamed people familiar with the matter.

Exact terms of a deal couldn't be learned, but New South Plainfield, Jersey-based Tumi could be valued at close to US$2 billion, based on a "typical premium", and the company's US$1.4 billion market value, according to the Journal.

A spokesman for Hong Kong-listed Samsonite said the Mansfield, Massachusetts-based company declined to comment. Spokespeople for Doughty Hanson & Co, the London-based private-equity firm that took over Tumi in 2004, couldn't be reached outside of office hours.

Samsonite's Ramesh Tainwala, chief executive officer since Oct 2014, had said in Jan 2012 when he was in charge of Asia and the Middle East that Tumi is a "natural fit" as the company readies to spend at least US$1 billion on buying rivals. Five months later, Mr Tainwala's predecessor Tim Parker ruled out buying its smaller competitor, saying it was too expensive.

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