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LVMH Versus Hermes: The Saga Continues

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LVMH Versus Hermes: The Saga Continues

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As Bernard Arnault, the richest man in France and CEO of LVMH narrows in on Hermes after acquiring almost 20% of its shares in late October, Hermes has made it clear that Arnault is unwanted company.

The higher-ups and family members at Hermes, which is often said to be the last "true" luxury brand, are reportedly furious about the purchase, and have made no efforts to hide their dislike for Monsieur Arnault. Bertrand Puech, who manages the family's involvement in Hermes International, even went so far as to describe LVMH as "a mosquito buzzing around; it's annoying. But it's very difficult to get a mosquito out." [New York Magazine]

WWD reports that the purchase is typical of Arnault's takeover strategy, "which has marked all his key acquisitions since taking over LVMH in 1989." What wil it mean for us consumers if an LVMH buy-out actually takes place? Well, if the Marc Jacobs invasion of the West Village is anything to go by, there's a distinct possibility we'll be lining up for Hermes condoms and "H"-shaped lollipops in the near future.

Luckily, the legal process is bound to take a long time, as family members would have to give up their shares to Arnault in order to facilitate a full takeover. We hope they cling with both hands—or at least with a few good lawyers.

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