MILAN — LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton now has a bigger slice of the Fendi pie.

The French luxury goods house confirmed that "the Formilli family [that of Franca Fendi, one of the five sisters who inherited the company from their parents] had decided to sell its 15.9 percent stake in the fashion and accessories company to LVMH." It now owns 66.9 percent. The share’s equivalent will be paid over three years, starting in 2003.

Last August, Luigi Formilli, Franca Fendi’s husband, died at 72 of complications from diabetes. During his 40 years at the Rome-based fashion and leather goods company, he held various roles and helped bring Fendi to the American market.

In 1999, he also counseled his wife and her sisters during the bidding frenzy for the family-controlled company, which ended when Prada and LVMH joined forces to buy 51 percent of Fendi for $545 million.

Until recently, three of the couple’s four children — Guido, Andrea and Federica Formilli — worked at Fendi. Federica Formilli was the creative director of Fendissime, the diffusion line that was launched in 1987 and recently discontinued.

The five original Fendi sisters — daughters of the founders — are Carla, Franca, Anna, Alda and Paola.

While the roles of Carla Fendi, president, and Silvia Venturini, creative director and daughter of Anna Fendi, seem to be indisputable, it’s not so for the other three Fendi sisters and their children. It’s unclear, in fact, whether Paola, Anna and Alda still have a role in the company or, if they still possess shares. According to one industry source, Paola and Alda are no longer involved in the company, although Anna still is.

Just a few weeks ago in an exclusive interview, Giancarlo Di Risio, Fendi’s chief executive officer, said that while Carla is involved in day-to-day operations, the other sisters "are consulted from time to time and bring invaluable advice to Fendi."

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