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LVMH Ups Hermes Stake to 20 Percent


>> Bernard Arnault
is not looking to allay Hermes after his surprise October acquisition of a 17.1 percent stake in the brand. Despite stating that he has no intention of taking Hermes over, Arnault announced yesterday that LVMH now owns 20.2 percent of Hermes shares — assuredly to the Hermes family's dismay, although a Hermes spokesman declined comment.

As the Hermes family collectively owns 70 percent of the brand, there is now less than 10 percent of shares left for Arnault to freely buy. If Arnault wants to continue increasing his stake, it will likely take years to erode family unity and therefore clear the way for a takeover.

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