PARIS — The French market regulator (AMF) is examining LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton’s stealth purchase of a 17.1 percent share in Hermès International to decide whether market rules were respected, the head of the authority said in a newspaper interview on Tuesday. AMF president Jean-Pierre Jouyet told financial daily Les Echos, which is owned by LVMH, that the market authority had merely been notified by LVMH that it had acquired the shares via equity swaps, but that it had yet to approve the operation.
“If, given the elements in his possession, the secretary general of the AMF considers that there are grounds to launch an inquiry, then this will be ordered,” he was quoted as saying by the newspaper.
In France, companies are required to declare stock purchases when they surpass 5 percent of the share capital.
LVMH took analysts by surprise when it revealed on Oct. 23 that it crossed that threshold with transactions to purchase more than 15 million shares, representing 14.2 percent of Hermès — one of the luxury world’s greatest trophy brands.
Luxury mogul Bernard Arnault’s group said it achieved the Hermès stake through several cash-settle equity swaps, in which an investor essentially bets on the future value of a stock without actually owning the underlying shares.
Jouyet said the AMF had published a report in 2008 in which it recommended that cash-settle equity swaps be considered equivalent to shares in calculating the threshold for declaring stock purchases to the market.
“This proposition was not retained in the law. It is highly regrettable,” he said.
A spokeswoman for the AMF said that the regulator does not make public any of its investigations in order to avoid prejudicing its inquiries.
Therefore, it will be impossible to verify whether the regulator has ordered a probe into the LVMH purchase until such time as the matter is brought before a sanctions committee, in the event that any irregularities have been found, the spokeswoman explained.
“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
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast