PARIS — Qatar Holding LLC — the owner of Harrods in London — holds a 1.03 percent stake in French luxury giant LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton.
This story first appeared in the March 16, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The investment is revealed in 2011 financial documents filed Thursday with the AMF, France’s market authority.
Investors are obliged to inform LVMH once they cross the 1 percent shareholding threshold. Others to have done so last year include Paolo Bulgari and Nicola Bulgari, as well as the companies Amundi, MFS Investment Management, BNP Paribas SA and BNP Paribas Asset Management, the 268-page document details. It notes that Qatar holds less than 1 percent of voting rights.
The stake held by the Bulgari brothers relates to LVMH’s acquisition last March of 50.4 percent of Bulgari from the company’s largest shareholder, the Bulgari family, in a cash-and-share swap valued at more than $6 billion in March. That deal made the Bulgaris the second-largest family shareholder in the French firm behind LVMH chairman and chief executive officer Bernard Arnault.
As of Dec. 31, Arnault and his family hold 46.5 percent of the share capital and 62.4 percent of voting rights at the world’s largest luxury goods firm, according to the financial document.
In 2011, revenues at LVMH advanced 16 percent to 23.66 billion euros, or $32.94 billion, as reported.
Qatar Holding, established in 2006, invests on behalf of the State of Qatar and is linked to the royal family of the Gulf nation.
Last year, Qatar became the largest shareholder in French media group Lagardère, with a 10.07 percent stake. Last month, the investment house said it acquired the London headquarters of Credit Suisse at One Cabot Square in Canary Wharf.
Qatar Holding has investments in a range of companies including Barclays, London Stock Exchange, Volkswagen, Porsche and J Sainsbury plc, according to its Web site.
Credit Suisse recently reinstated coverage of LVMH, assigning it an “outperform” rating and characterizing it as a “high-quality, core holding offering the most balanced and diversified portfolio in the sector thanks to several leading brands with global scalability into emerging markets and attractive margins.”