‘This complaint concerns the terms of LVMH’s acquisition of stock in Hermès International,’ the group said. The complaint accuses LVMH of engaging in underhanded investment tactics to build its considerable stake in the heritage leather goods company, WWD reported.
LVMH surprised the fashion world in October 2010 by announcing that it had built a 17.1% stake in Hermès through cash-settled equity swaps, enabling the larger company to raise its investment without being compelled to disclose the stake to regulators.
Since then, LVMH has added to its stake, now worth 22.3%, despite the Birkin maker restructuring its charter to prevent the nondisclosure of vigorous stakebuilding activity by outsiders.
In response, LVMH said it planned to file a countersuit against Hermès for ‘slander, blackmail and unfair competition.’
‘LVMH has no doubt that the inquiry will determine that the Hermès allegations are false and serve no other purpose than to slander and unlawfully undermine another firm in the same industry,’ it said in a statement.