LVMH

PARIS — LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton moved to quell merger and acquisition talk around Chanel, as the group’s chief financial officer Jean-Jacques Guiony issued a denial that he commented on the value of the privately owned luxury company to analysts.

“The words attributed to me in your June 10 edition, supposedly said during an Investor Day, in the presence of analysts of the sector, are totally inexact. The LVMH group never comments on the value of its competitors,” he said in a statement issued Monday.

WWD in an article published Friday online, which also appeared in Monday’s Digital Daily edition, cited an analyst report from Jefferies that said LVMH executives had pegged the value of Chanel closer to around 100 billion euros than a figure of around 50 billion euros that had been floating around, raising the question as to who might have an interest. LVMH had declined to comment on Friday.

A number of analysts last week relayed information from a two-day field trip hosted by Guiony and Louis Vuitton chief executive officer Michael Burke that focused on the Louis Vuitton brand’s leather goods’ manufacturing strategy and operations.

Chanel, which is held by the secretive Wertheimer brothers, fed M&A speculation last year by publishing financial figures for the first time, with some interpreting the surprise move as a sign it could come up for sale.

“We firmly restate that Chanel is not for sale and we do not have any further comments on these unfounded rumors,” Chanel told WWD on Friday.

But talk of Chanel’s valuation is set to continue, with expectations the company will soon issue full-year financial figures, providing fresh information for the financial community to update their estimates.

Last summer, analysts at Exane BNP Paribas said the company’s worth was likely “well above” the 50-billion-euro mark, saying a “prudent but realistic” valuation would be in the same ballpark as Hermès International.

Hermès has a market capitalization of 65 billion euros.

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