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PARIS — LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton continues to buy and sell — albeit quietly.
For example, the French luxury giant upped its stake in Fendi to 84.1 percent in the first quarter of the year, according to a recent statutory filing with Balo, France’s official government publication of record.
The filing says LVMH paid $218.5 million for the additional 17.2 percent stake in Fendi. It is believed that Carla Fendi, president and head of communications, is the only member of the founding family retaining shares. In total, LVMH paid $1.11 billion to acquire the 84.1 percent stake. Dollar figures are converted from euros at current exchange rates.
LVMH and Prada Group jointly acquired 51 percent of the Rome-based leather goods and fashion house in 1999. LVMH bought Prada’s stake in November 2001, and the 15.9 percent stake held by Franca Fendi last July.
Fendi officials could not be reached for comment.
According to Antoine Belge, luxury analyst at HSBC in Paris, the overall price paid values Fendi at around $1.32 billion to $1.55 billion. In a research note, he said the high price poses “a difficult challenge” in terms of value creation, but gives LVMH “almost total freedom in the implementation of its rejuvenation strategy.”
The same Balo filing also details other transactions.
It said LVMH netted $13.9 million for the sale of its one-third stake in Michael Kors LLC. Silas Chou and Lawrence Stroll, through their company Sportswear Holdings Limited, concluded separate deals in January to acquire a controlling stake in Kors, as reported.
LVMH also spent $32.5 million to increase its stake to 97 percent, from 45 percent, in the Italian shoemaker Rossimoda SpA, and it sold for a symbolic $1 its remaining 27.5 percent stake in art auctioneer Phillips.
This story first appeared in the May 13, 2003 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.