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LVMH, PPR Looking to Shed Non-Core Assets

PARIS — It looks like French fashion titans Bernard Arnault and François Pinault are still in a mood to slim down.<br><br>Speculation is mounting here that Arnault’s luxury giant LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton will soon shed...

PARIS — It looks like French fashion titans Bernard Arnault and François Pinault are still in a mood to slim down.

Speculation is mounting here that Arnault’s luxury giant LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton will soon shed Compagnie Financière Laflachere, whose main asset, La Brosse et Dupont, makes everything from hairbrushes to toothbrushes and toiletry cases. LVMH acquired the firm in 1998 via its LV Capital investment arm.

LVMH officials could not be reached for comment; however, Arnault recently indicated that his group would continue to shed marginal and non-core assets.

Meanwhile, Rexel, the electrical components company owned by Pinault’s distribution giant Pinault-Printemps-Redoute, said Wednesday that it sold its property portfolio, with 46 sites located in the U.K., France, Germany, The Netherlands, Belgium and Sweden, to British group Ashtenne for $43.9 million (converted from euros at the current exchange rate). Rexel called the sale part of its ongoing strategy to concentrate on its core electrical supplies business. PPR has said it plans to sell Rexel before the end of 2004 as part of its focus on its retail and luxury activities.