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government-trade

Arnault Denies Rumors of For-Sale Sign on Celine

PARIS -- The principals of Celine have denied reports in the Paris press that the firm is up for sale. "This rumor has no foundation. It's completely untrue," insisted Bernard Arnault, whose holding company, Financiere Agache, controls Celine. Arnault...

PARIS — The principals of Celine have denied reports in the Paris press that the firm is up for sale. “This rumor has no foundation. It’s completely untrue,” insisted Bernard Arnault, whose holding company, Financiere Agache, controls Celine. Arnault also denied rumors that Paris investment bank Banque Paribas had issued a prospectus for Celine. “That’s also not true. No such prospectus exists,” Arnault told WWD at the Christian Dior couture show in Paris Monday. Arnault is president of luxury conglomerate LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, which controls Dior, Givenchy and Christian Lacroix, as well as Louis Vuitton, Hennessy cognac and one-quarter of France’s champagne business. Nan Legeai, the chairwoman and chief executive officer of Celine, also flatly denied the reports. “The rumor is false,” she said Monday, “Celine is not for sale.” Nonetheless, two senior executives at important Paris fashion houses claimed that a prospectus for Celine does indeed exist. They also said that Agache is asking over FF 1 billion ($169 million at current exchange rates) for Celine. Legeai said she could not disclose a preliminary yearend sales figure for 1993, but she did say “they will show an increase from 1992.” In 1992, Celine posted a 41 percent jump in net profit to FF 57 million ($9.7 million), and earned a 27 percent increase in consolidated sales to FF 680 million ($115 million at current exchange rates).