LVMH just announced that they had upped their stake in Hermes, picking up enough additional shares to cross the 20 per cent threshold. In other words, all that lyrical public posturing by the Hermes family members asking Bernard Arnault to leave them alone in their beautiful garden achieved exactly … nothing. My guess is it actually inflamed Mr Arnault’s famously competitive instincts. (Hate to say I told you so, but….)
LVMH’s official position remains the same: they want to support a French national treasure, no plans to take over, yadda yadda yadda — just, well, the opportunity was there (and, as someone said to me earlier, “20 per cent sounds so much better than 17 per cent”).