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Hermes to sell its Jean-Paul Gaultier stake

Luxury goods group Hermes is in talks to sell its 45% stake in fashion house Jean-Paul Gaultier.

Hermes has received expressions of interest from potential buyers and said discussions have been initiated. It has been reported that French luxury group PPR, the company behind Gucci, Stella McCartney and Alexander McQueen, could be among the interested parties. Several options could be considered including Hermes only selling part of its stake.

The news of a potential sale came after designer Jean-Paul Gaultier stepped down as director of women’s ready-to-wear at Hermes last October after presenting it’s spring 11 collection. Gaultier still controls 55% of the business.

Sales in 2010 at Jean-Paul Gaultier were up €3m (£2.6m) to €26m (£2.9m).

Further consolidation has been seen in the luxury goods market this year with LVMH taking control of accessories giant Bulgari. Hermes is also fending off a pursuit by LVMH, the luxury goods group behind Louis Vuitton and Marc Jacobs, which has increased its share in Hermès to more than 20%.

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