PARIS — LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton again increased its stake in luxury firm Hermès International, just a day after the Hermès family announced it had completed the creation of a nonlisted holding company grouping more than 50 percent of its share capital in a bid to ward off a takeover.
According to a declaration published by France’s stock market authority AMF on Tuesday, LVMH on Dec. 15 upped its stake in the maker of Birkin handbags and silk scarves to 22.3 percent from 21.4 percent previously. It now retains 16 percent of the firm’s voting rights, crossing the threshold of 15 percent that requires market notification.
A spokeswoman for Hermès said it did not have any comment on the AMF filing.
On Dec. 14, Hermès said Julie Guerrand had been appointed president of the holding company, dubbed H51. Guerrand belongs to the sixth generation of heirs to Thierry Hermès, who founded the company in 1837.
In an interview with French daily Le Figaro last week, Bertrand Puech, the executive chairman of Emile Hermès Sarl, which represents the family shareholders, declared the war with LVMH over, although he reiterated his call for the luxury giant to withdraw.
LVMH chairman and chief executive officer Bernard Arnault surprised markets when he revealed in October 2010 that he had accumulated a 17.1 percent stake in Hermès via cash-settled equity swaps that allowed him to circumvent the usual market rules requiring firms to declare share purchases.
Although Arnault said he had no plans for a full takeover, the move rattled Hermès, which has vowed to protect itself from what it considers an unwelcome suitor.
In Tuesday’s AMF filing, LVMH said it would consider purchasing more shares in Hermès depending on circumstances and market conditions, but reiterated that it did not seek to take over the firm. It also said it holds cash-settled equity swaps covering 205,997 shares in Hermès, which expire from April 4, 2014.
Breaking News: @louisvuitton's men's artistic director @mrkimjones is leaving the French fashion house after nearly 7 years. Jones joined Louis Vuitton in 2011, following a three year tenure as creative director of British luxury goods brand Alfred Dunhill. Jones is to exit Louis Vuitton after showing his fall 2018 collection for the brand in Paris on Thursday. Read the full exclusive story on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
For men’s fall 2018, @giuseppezanotti drew on elements from streetwear, sport, biker, combat and rock ‘n’ roll. Pictured here are a pair of shoes from the collection, featuring zippers, rhinestones, and silver hardware. Head to WWD.com to see a roundup of the accessories from Milan’s men’s fall 2018 shows. #wwdfashion (📷: Andrea Delb)
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Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews