Friday, 5 November 2010

Feud Between Hermes and LVMH? 05/11/10

We’ve been closely following the happening surrounding LVMH’s acquisition of Hermes shares here at the MO Down, and there has been an interesting development.

Monsieur Arnault, Europe’s wealthiest man (incroyable!) and CEO of the mighty LVMH group, has a history of getting his way. Let’s face it– he is an incredibly astute businessman, regardless of whether or not you like his modus operandi. Monsieur Arnault has his well-trained luxury eye firmly on one prize in particular. We’ll give you a hint: it’s something iconic and orange in colour. The primarily family-owned Hermes is firm in its stance that the business remain theirs at 73 per cent, and it looks like it could become a fight to the death for one of France’s most iconic brands.

It was a surprise revelation when LVMH revealed its acquisition of 17 per cent last week. Despite Msr. Arnault’s adamant denial that the move signifies future plans for a takeover, Hermes isn’t convinced. ‘If you want to be friendly Arnault, you should withdraw’ said Hermes representatives, questioning LVMH’s motivation. Hermes isn’t interested in becoming part of the luxury conglomerate. Msr. Puech (fifth generation heir of Emile Hermes, founder) told French paper, Le Figaro, ‘we are artisans; our goal is to make the best products in the world. We aren’t in the business of luxury, we’re in quality.

It’s rare to see such hostility between such big names and we can’t help but be fascinated to see how this plays out. We will continue to update as we hear…

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Melinda O’Rourke is the founder and Director of MO Luxury, a dynamic, Sydney-based management firm specialising in luxury brands and services. Melinda and her associates at MO work with local and international brands across prestige retail, fashion, fine jewellery, timepieces and specialised services. Melinda is well-connected, well-read, and well-versed in the demands of the luxury market and its client base. Her advice is firmly based in objectivity and ultimately, accountability. Melinda offers constructive counsel and both strategic and creative thinking and is able to draw upon a strong network of specialised talent to compliment the MO Luxury team as needed. Melinda enjoys excellent industry relationships and is regularly quoted in the business and fashion media. Read more about MO Luxury,