Hermes estimates family owns 72 percent: deputy CEO

PARIS, Oct 25 – Fashion group Hermes (HRMS.PA: ) is verifying the size of the stake of its controlling family and believes it is around 72 percent, Hermes Deputy Chief Executive Patrick Albaladejo, said on Monday.

Albaladejo was commenting on LVMH’s (LVMH.PA: ) announcement at the weekend that it had built up a stake of 17.1 percent in Hermes, raising questions about whether it had bought shares from Hermes family shareholders.

“The size of the family holding is being calculated and should be around 72 percent,” Albaladejo said, implying that family members, who previously owned more than 70 percent, would not have sold any big shareholding to LVMH.

“We are very surprised,” Albaladejo said.

He said Hermes was only informed of LVMH’s position an hour before the luxury goods group announced on Saturday that it had built up a 14.2 percent stake in Hermes and had derivatives that brought it up to 17.1 percent.

LVMH said it was not planning a takeover bid and fully supported Hermes’s strategy and would not seek board representation.

(Reporting by Pascale Denis and Astrid Wendlandt)

Hermes estimates family owns 72 percent: deputy CEO