Home / Companies / News /  Hermes, LVMH stake spat escalates

Paris: Hermes International SCA filed a complaint against LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA over how its larger competitor amassed a stake two years ago.

The maker of Birkin bags and silk scarves made the complaint on 10 July, it said on Tuesday in an emailed statement.

LVMH, which has built a 22.3% stake in Hermes, rejected the charge as baseless and said in a separate statement that it will file its own complaint against its competitor for blackmail, slander and illegal competition.

LVMH, the world’s largest maker of luxury goods, announced in October 2010 it had built up a 17.1% stake in Hermes via equity swaps and has subsequently added to the holding.

The Autorite des Marches Financiers, or AMF, said in November 2010 that it would review how LVMH amassed the stake to determine if rules were breached.

“LVMH strongly reaffirms that the acquisition of its stake in Hermes was entirely legitimate," LVMH said in Tuesday’s statement. Hermes seeks to bypass the appropriate AMF channels without waiting for the result of the official enquiry and without determining the extent of the AMF’s findings to date.

Hermes said in December that its fight with LVMH was over after it formed a holding company, grouping a 50.2% stake held by Hermes’s family owners with the right of first refusal on an additional 12.3% of the shares. Bloomberg

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