The Hermès family is fighting against the French Association for Minority Shareholders (ADAM), who have protested the family's attempts to group its shares into a nonlisted holding company. The family is sequestering its shares to protect its majority holding — just over 50 percent — from being chipped away by LVMH, whose surprise purchase of over 20 percent of the company late last year sent the family into a tizzy over the possibility of an unwanted takeover. However, the company's minority shareholders teamed up with ADAM this week to complain that this would hurt their interests (it's also an exemption to normal protocol). The Hermès family will hear none of it, though.
In a statement, Hermès said the new request is groundless and accused ADAM of attempting to destabilize the company and pass control to LVMH only a few days after Hermes reported what it described as “the best results in the sector.”
ADAM has asked that the family's votes not be counted at the company's annual shareholders' meeting on May 30, a request that sounds unlikely but will be heard during a special court session on May 24.