Last week, French officials granted Hermès a special exemption from market regulations, allowing the family shareholders to proceed with their anti-takeover plan against LVMH. However, it now looks like the family will have to wait several months before they get the plan rolling, since the decision will be appealed by the French Association for Minority Shareholders (ADAM). Colette Neuville, the president of ADAM, claims that the decision penalizes holders of the portion of the company that is still freely traded (a bit less than 10 percent of the company's capital is still up for grabs, since LVMH owns 20.2 percent of the shares and the family owns just over 70 percent). In other words, by locking up their shares away from LVMH, the Hermès family could be decreasing the value of the remaining freely traded shares. The full report of the market regulators' exemption decision, which WWD described as "densely worded," was released on Friday.
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