Hermès executives told LVMH to withdraw from their capital yesterday, citing the larger luxury group's surprise purchase of 17 percent of the company last month as threatening to the label's interests. Despite LVMH's insistence that they do not intend to take over Hermès "in the next six months," their overtures are regarded as unfriendly, said Bertrand Puech, a fifth-generation descendant of founder Thierry Hermès:
The family has clearly and unanimously said: If you want to be friendly, Mister Arnault [LVMH's CEO], you need to withdraw.
In addition to wanting Hermès to remain family-owned, Puech said that they were not well-suited to LVMH's large-scale management and distribution:
This culture (of craftmanship and strong traditions) is hardly compatible with one of a big group. It is not a financial battle, it's a cultural battle.
Meanwhile, they're also waiting to see if the French market regulator deems LVMH's sneaky acquisitions legal in the first place.