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Hermès wins ruling in battle with LVMH

The family controlling luxury goods group Hermès was given a lift in their fight against rival LVMH yesterday when the French stock market regulator said the family would not have to buy out minority shareholders.

LVMH, the luxury goods group behind Louis Vuitton and Marc Jacobs, last month increased its share in Hermès to more than 20%. The move prompted the family members, who own more than 70% of the business, to set up a holding company with more than 50% of the capital to discourage LVMH from seeking full control of the business.

Usually a company would have to make a formal offer to buy the remaining shares however Hermès asked for an exemption on the basis that the family effectively controls the business already. The holding will have first right of refusal on share sales by family members.

A statement from Hermès said: “This decision allows the reclassification project to be put in action which is the unanimous wish of the family in order to preserve the culture of Hermès.”

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