The behemoth and the (seemingly) last bastion of artisan pride in luxury have shaken hands. For now at least. In short LVMH, the giant of luxury fragrances, fashion, accessories and wines & spirits (see below) and Hermes, the historic saddle-maker turned luxe brand, have come to a reconciliation. The official press release runs thus:
"The President of the Commercial Court of Paris, Mr. Franck Gentin, proposed to LVMH and Hermès a conciliation in order to bring to an end the conflicts between the two groups and restore a climate of positive relations between them.
The two parties having reacted favorably to this proposal, signed an agreement under which the LVMH Group will distribute all its Hermès shares to its shareholders, on the understanding that LVMH’s largest shareholder, Christian Dior will in turn distribute the Hermès shares it receives to its own shareholders. LVMH, Dior and Groupe Arnault have undertaken not to acquire any shares in Hermès for the next five years. The distribution of Hermès shares, approved by the boards of LVMH and Dior, will be completed no later than 20th December 2014. Following this distribution, Groupe Arnault will hold around 8.5% of the capital of Hermès International.
By virtue of the agreement reached today, LVMH and Hermès have brought to an end the conflict, and all related actions, between them.
Mr. Axel Dumas and Mr. Bernard Arnault both express their satisfaction that relations between the two groups, representatives of France’s savoir-faire, have now been restored."
LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton is represented in Wines and Spirits by a portfolio of brands that includes Moët & Chandon, Dom Pérignon, Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin, Krug, Ruinart, Mercier, Château d’Yquem, Domaine du Clos des Lambrays, Château Cheval Blanc, Hennessy, Glenmorangie, Ardbeg, Wen Jun, Belvedere, 10 Cane, Chandon, Cloudy Bay, Terrazas de los Andes, Cheval des Andes, Cape Mentelle, Newton et Numanthia. Its Fashion and Leather Goods division includes Louis Vuitton, Céline, Loewe, Kenzo, Givenchy, Thomas Pink, Fendi, Emilio Pucci, Donna Karan, Marc Jacobs, Berluti, Nicholas Kirkwood and Loro Piana. LVMH is present in the Perfumes and Cosmetics sector with Parfums Christian Dior, Guerlain, Parfums Givenchy, Parfums Kenzo, Perfumes Loewe as well as other promising cosmetic companies (BeneFit Cosmetics, Make Up For Ever, Acqua di Parma and Fresh). LVMH is also active in selective retailing as well as in other activities through DFS, Sephora, Le Bon Marché, la Samaritaine and Royal Van Lent. LVMH's Watches and Jewelry division comprises Bulgari, TAG Heuer, Chaumet, Dior Watches, Zenith, Fred, Hublot and De Beers Diamond Jewellers Ltd, a joint venture created with the world’s leading diamond group.