LVMH, the French luxury goods group controlled by the Arnault family, has further increased its stake in fellow family business Hermes and now controls 22.28% of the bag-maker’s shares and 16% of its voting rights.
According to a filing with France’s stock market regulator Autorite des Marches Financiers, the Paris-based luxury group raised its stake in Hermes to 23,518,942 shares on 15 December.
Previously, LVMH held 21.4% of its smaller rival’s shares and less than 15% of its voting rights.
In the filing, LVMH said it intends to keep buying Hermes’s shares “depending on circumstances and on the market situation”.
However, the group added that it doesn’t plan on asking for one of its representative to sit on Hermes’s board in the next six months and denied it wants to take control of the company.
LVMH first announced it had secretly bought 17% of Hermes’s shares in October 2010 and since then has gradually increased its holding in the company.
In response, 52 of the 53 Hermes family shareholders created H51, a holding company that controls 50.2% of Hermes in a bid to defend the family business from a hostile takeover.
Bernard Arnault founded LVMH in 1987, using his father's fortune to buy Christian Dior. The Arnault family owns 47% of the group, through its holding company Groupe Arnault.