Hermes complaint against LVMH over stake building

Last Updated: Tue, Sep 04, 2012 12:20 hrs

PARIS (Reuters) - French leather bag maker Hermes said on Tuesday it had filed a complaint on July 10 against LVMH, the world's biggest luxury group, over LVMH's building of a stake of over 20 percent in its smaller peer.

"It is the logical consequence of the questions raised by the terms of LVMH's entry in the capital," an Hermes spokeswoman told Reuters.

She could not immediately provide further details on the nature of the complaint.

LVMH, which currently owns 22.3 percent in Hermes and now has 16 percent of the voting rights, declined to comment.

LVMH, led by billionaire businessman Bernard Arnault, has been gradually increasing its holding in Hermes, the maker of 10,000-euro leather bags and silk scarves, since it was revealed in 2010 that it had secretly built up a 17 percent stake.

France's AMF market watchdog, which had open its own probe on the terms of the stake building, had no immediate comment.

Hermes family shareholders have responded to the stakebuilding by creating a majority family holding that will shield it from the threat of a takeover.

(Reporting by Dominique Vidalon, Pascale Denis)

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