According to a statement on the LVMH website; “Hermès has filed a complaint with a Paris prosecutor that carries serious and unfounded accusations about market failings, and as a result, we had no choice but to file a suit for slander, blackmail and unfair competition.”
The luxury giant goes on to admit that back in November 2010, the French regulatory body (AMF) did open an enquiry into the ‘financial information and share-trading between LVMH and Hermès International’ but that, with the filing of this complaint, “Hermès seeks to bypass the appropriate AMF channels without waiting for the result of the official enquiry.”
“For its part, LVMH strongly reaffirms that the acquisition of its stake in Hermès was entirely legitimate and that unlike Hermès, it awaits the outcome of the AMF enquiry with complete peace of mind and has no doubt that the enquiry 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.”
Back in July, Hermès issued a statement saying that it filed a complaint against LVMH relating to the terms in which the luxury fragrance company had become a stakeholder in the brand. LVMH originally purchased a 14.2 per cent stake in 2010 and now owns 22.3 per cent along with 16 per cent of the voting rights.
Further details on the nature of the complaint have not yet been provided, although it has been suggested that LVMH is accused of engaging in insider trading and manipulating stock prices.
The prosecutor’s office has said that following the complaint by Hermes, it had requested the opinion of French stock market watchdog AMF before deciding whether there was cause to open a possible criminal investigation.
Representitives from both luxury houses told CosmeticsDesign-Europe.com that they declined to further comment while the investigation was ongoing when contacted previous to this article going to publication.