LVMH says it might increase Hermes stake
Global luxury retailer LVMH said Wednesday it could buy more shares in smaller rival Hermes, depending on the circumstances, after it built up a susbstantial stake amid speculation it planned a takeover.
LVMH, which has said it was not planning a bid for Hermes, now holds 17.1 percent of the company, building up its holding from less than five percent before the weekend.
In a statement to the French market regulator (AMF), LVMH said it "would continue, if the opportunity arose, buying shares in Hermes, depending on circumstances and the state of the market."
LVMH reiterated that it "did not envisage taking control" of Hermes or making a public offer for all of the shares, adding that it would also not seek a seat on the board.
LVMH, the world's leading luxury group marketing brands such as Louis Vuitton, Givenchy, Dom Perignon and Dior, raised its Hermes holding to 14.2 percent from less than 5.0 percent on Saturday and then bought more shares Tuesday.
Heirs of the founding Hermes family, who own more than 70 percent of the company, said Sunday they had no plans to sell any of their stake and had not sold any shares to LVMH.
© 2010 AFP