If there are any doubts that Bernard Arnault is interested in a majority stake in Hermes, they have been settled. In a one-sentence statement through his company, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, the billionaire businessman says he now owns 21,338,675 Hermes shares, just over 20 percent of the family-owned, Parisian luxury goods company.
Paris-based LVMH enraged Hermes family members in October when it revealed it had taken a 17.1 percent stake in the company. Arnault, said at the time LVMH would continue to buy more shares but did not intend to take control, to make a public offer for the company nor to seek seats on the board.
The family shareholders of Hermes called for Arnault to withdraw his Hermes' capital.
AFP reports that LVMH is now the single largest shareholder in Hermes but it is controlled by the descendents of founder Thierry Hermes who between them hold 73.4 percent of the capital.
LVMH, the world's leading luxury group, controls brands such as Louis Vuitton, Givenchy, Dom Perignon and Dior.
I was first alerted to this story through the Lorre White, The Guru of Luxury, website, so special thanks to Lorre.