PARIS — Hermès International continues to strengthen its barricades against a potential creeping takeover by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton.
At its annual shareholders’ general meeting on May 29, the French luxury house will propose naming Nicolas Puech, the single largest family shareholder, as the 11th member of the supervisory board. It will also submit a change in statutes requiring holders of more than 0.5 percent of shares to register them to their name. The measures were detailed in the company’s 2011 annual report.
Nicolas Puech is the brother of Bertrand Puech, the executive chairman of Emile Hermès Sarl, which represents the family shareholders. Nicolas Puech made headlines last year by telling a French newspaper he thought it was not a good idea to lock up all the family’s shares in a holding group in order to protect the firm from a potential LVMH offensive — though Bertrand Puech later insisted the family unity was intact.
After clearing legal challenges, Hermès in December completed the creation of a nonlisted holding company, dubbed H51, which groups 50.15 percent of its share capital.
Nicolas Puech, who owns 5.8 percent of the capital, reportedly does not plan to add his shares to the family holding, but his arrival on the supervisory board is a concrete symbol of his allegiance to the Hermès clan, made up of the Dumas, Puech and Guerrand families.
The proposed change in statutes, meanwhile, will require anyone owning a number of shares exceeding 0.5 percent of the capital, and for each additional 0.5 percent tranche, to register all the shares in their ownership under their name.
Had it been in place at the time, such a measure would have alerted Hermès to the presence of LVMH in its capital, which only came to light when the luxury behemoth revealed in October 2010 that it had purchased 17.1 percent of Hermès shares via cash-settled equity swaps, in a move that is still being investigated by stock market authority AMF. As of Dec. 31, LVMH had raised its stake to 22.3 percent, according to the Hermès annual report.
Continued speculation of an LVMH takeover has helped Hermès shares rise 8.2 percent since the beginning of the year, even though the free float represents only 7.7 percent of the total capital. On Monday, Hermès shares closed at 250.25 euros, or $327.25 at average exchange rates for the day.
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)
@heriethpaul and @gracebol have a moment on the @victoriassecret fashion show 2017. See every look from the runway on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo) #wwdfashion #victoriassecret #VSFashionShow
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia