According to today's issue of WWD "French luxury conglomerate LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton said Tuesday that it has crossed the threshold of 20 percent of shares of Hermès International."
LVMH now holds 21,338,675 shares of the Hermes company's stock. Bernard Arnault, LVMH chief executive officer, surprised markets when he revealed in late October that he had accumulated a 17 percent stake in the famous brand, notorious for its Birkin handbag, made famous by Sex and the City, and its infamous silk scarves.
The Hermès company has vowed to defend itself against a potential takeover bid and recently grouped more than 50 percent of the capital of Hermès International into a nonlisted holding company.. “LVMH has no intention of launching a tender offer, taking control of Hermes nor seeking board representation,” LVMH said today in a statement. “The objective of LVMH is to be a long- term shareholder of Hermes. LVMH fully supports the strategy implemented by the founding family and the management team.”
According to Business Week, Hermes shares have climbed 77 percent in Paris since the May 1 death of former Chief Executive Officer Jean-Louis Dumas on speculation the company’s founding family may be more willing to sell.