LVMH increases Hermes stake

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Global luxury retailer LVMH said on Tuesday it had increased its stake in smaller rival Hermes again amid growing speculation, denied by the company, that it was planning a bid for control.

LVMH, the world's leading luxury group which markets brands such as Louis Vuitton, Givenchy, Dom Perignon and Dior, said it had bought about three million Hermes shares to take its stake to 17.1 percent.

On Saturday, LVMH raised its holding to 14.2 percent from less than 5.0 percent in what analysts said had all the hallmarks of a deft raid on the stock so as build up a position for a possible takeover.

Heirs of the founding Hermes family, who own 70 percent of Hermes, said on Sunday that they had no plans to sell any of their stake and had not sold any shares to LVMH.

© 2010 AFP

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