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Samsonite to buy luxury bag maker Tumi in $1.8 billion deal

Samsonite is looking to check in some extra luggage.

The well known travel bag maker said Friday it has agreed to buy its upscale American rivalTumi (TUMI) in a deal worth around $1.8 billion.

Founded in the 1970s by a former Peace Corps volunteer who worked in South America, Tumi has become one of the leading high-end brands for travelers. Its check-in and carry-on bags retail for as much as $2,495, according to its website.

The company also sells clothes and accessories like umbrellas and phone chargers.

For Samsonite (SMSEY), the world's biggest travel luggage company, the deal gives it a bigger slice of the top tier of the market. Tumi, meanwhile, will get the benefits of being part of a larger operation with a wider global reach.

"We will expand Tumi's presence in Asia and Europe, while strengthening its business in North America," Samsonite CEO Ramesh Tainwala said in a statement.

Tumi shares had soared 30% to $26.20 in New York on Thursday amid reports of the deal. Samsonite said it will pay $26.75 per share under the agreement.

It's the latest in a string of acquisitions in recent years for Samsonite, including the High Sierra, Hartmann, Lipault and Speck brands.

The company's sales rose 15% to $2.35 billion in 2014 from the year before. It has said it aims to double the size of its business in the coming years.

CNNMoney (Hong Kong)