Hermès has been one of the only family owned powerhouses in an industry full of conglomerates- at least it was. LVMH (Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton) announced on Saturday that it now owns 14.2% of the company and plans on being a “long-term shareholder,” they told WWD.
There are many in the industry who fear Bernard Arnault, chairman and CEO of LVMH, will do what he did in the 80’s when he pitted family member against family member to gain control of LVMH. However, there are also many who believe that the Hermès family did the right thing in selling off a share toward LVMH instead of to other rival investors such as Compagnie Financière Richemont.
LVMH has continually made the statement that a complete takeover is not what will happen. The main goal that they want to accomplish with buying a part of Hermès is to “contribute to the preservation of the family and French attributes which are at the heart of the global success of this iconic brand” (WWD). Even with all the continuous backlash toward Arnault, he continuously expresses his admiration for the Hermès brand and family.