French luxury brand Hermes retaliated against accusations by shareholder association Adam over its share buybacks at market prices, according to reports.
On Tuesday Adam, already mounting a court case against the luxury group, questioned buying shares despite stock being at record highs and asked whether the initiative was in the interests of its shareholders.
A spokeswoman for Hermes commented in response: “The share buyback is to cover our employee share attribution scheme.”
She added: “The continued acquisition of Hermes shares by LVMH forces Hermes to take precautions to be able to honour its commitments to its employees.”
Since June Hermes has spent a reported €114.5m (£99.9m) on buying back shares, using 14% of its end year cash reserves.
Adam has already challenged Hermes’s strategy to create a holding company to fight against fears over a takeover from bigger groups such as LVMH.
Hermes, meanwhile, has publicly blamed LVMH, which already owns 21.4 percent of the company, for cornering the market by continuing to build up its stake in the brand.
According to reports, Hermes shares have grown 50% this year, reaching a €247.95 (£216) on Monday, despite a falling market, nearing the limit of €250 (£218) which Hermes set for its buyback initiative.
Hermes is said to be worth €25.5bn (£22.25bn).