LVMH does not appeal Hermes ruling: source

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Global luxury retailer LVMH did not appeal a decision by market regulators allowing the family-controlled Hermes to form a holding company and block a potential takeover, a judicial source said Tuesday.

LVMH was not one of the two parties that submitted appeals at Paris' appeals court, the source told AFP.

One appeal was filed by the ADAM association of minority shareholders, which objects to the Hermes family being able to form a holding without making an offer for all the shares.

Monday was the deadline to appeal the decision by the financial market regulator AMF. LVMH declined to confirm that it had not appealed the decision.

AMF earlier this month said it would not enforce legal provisions for making offers to purchase shares from minority shareholders as the controlling family try to fight off the embrace of giant rival LVMH.

Global luxury retailer LVMH early last month increased its stake in Hermes to more than 20 percent, prompting the descendants of founder Thierry Hermes to set up a holding company structure to thwart any eventual LVMH takeover.

In changing the group structure, however, the family members, who collectively hold more than 73 percent of Hermes, laid themselves open to the obligation to buy out all minority shareholders.

The holding company is intended to control more than 50 percent of Hermes and so block a hostile takeover. But under French rules, any shareholder acquiring more than 33 percent of a listed company must offer to buy the other shares.

© 2011 AFP

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