PARIS -- In the latest waltz of companies within the Bernard Arnault group, Bon Marche will sell Celine to LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton.
The move follows several weeks of speculation that Celine, known for its leather goods, other accessories and apparel, was up for sale, rumors that Arnault himself denied.
The sale of Celine has "an industrial logic, in the sense that it will bring a new operating company into LVMH," Arnault said Monday.
He added that an independent bank will be appointed to work out a fair price for Celine. Preliminary results for 1993 indicate a profit of $16.9 million (100 million francs, based on current exchange rates) on sales of over $118.4 million (700 million francs). According to reports here, a prospectus for Celine had been issued with an price for the company of over $169.1 million (1 billion francs).
Bon Marche, which also controls the Left Bank department store here of the same name, will use the money to pay for its share of an $845.5 million (5 billion francs) capital increase at Christian Dior. As reported, Dior needs the cash to pay Guinness PLC for a 38.25 percent stake in Jacques Rober, a holding company that controls 45 percent of LVMH.
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