French billionaire Bernard Arnault has swooped to take full control of fashion house Christian Dior in a deal worth €12.1bn.

Arnault's giant LVMH luxury goods brand will buy the 26% of Dior it doesn't already own, and plans to fold Dior's 70-year-old couture brand within the rest of the larger group.

The world's largest luxury goods firm said acquisition of Dior would reinforce its fashion and leather goods business.

Arnault said taking control one of the world's "most iconic brands" was "an important milestone for the group".

LVMH said the mix of cash and shares values Dior at €260 per share, representing a 15% premium to the stock's closing price on Monday (24 April).

Christian Dior makes bespoke and ready to wear men's and women's clothes, which it sells through its network of 198 stores worldwide. LVMH said 93% of Dior's revenues come through its shop network, which has outlets in Paris, London and Tokyo.

Designer Christian Dior founded the fashion house in 1947, later expanding into fragrances, watches and accessories. Designers who would later go on to launch their own fashion houses such as Pierre Cardin and Yves Saint Laurent, worked for Dior early in their careers.

LVMH owns over 70 luxury fashion houses covering fashion, alcohol, watches and travel including Tag Heuer, Dom Perignon, Thomas Pink, Louis Vuitton and Givenchy.