PARIS There is no “For Sale” sign hanging on Hermès International.


“The family wants to keep control of its group – Hermès is a jewel,” Bertrand Puech, executive manager, chairman and member of the management board, told shareholders at Hermès’ annual meeting here. “We are indeed desirable, but we are prudent and are bent on defending our property. No takeover bid is in view.”

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The statement should squelch persistent speculation of an imminent bid by luxury titan Bernard Arnault. Shares in Hermès International have been spiking, despite denials from Arnault of any approach or share purchase.

Meanwhile, chief executive officer Patrick Thomas said he remains confident in the firm’s growth potential despite economic turbulence. Earlier this month, Hermès said sales raced ahead 13.4 percent in the first quarter to 415.1 million euros, or $621.7 million at average exchange rates, with a robust performance across all key product categories and regions.

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For more, see Wednesday’s issue of WWD.

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