French stock market regulator rules in favour of Hermes in the ongoing battle with LVMH

France’s stock-market regulator said it will allow family shareholders of luxury goods group Hermes to pool their holdings, without forcing them to buy out minority shareholders, boosting the group’s efforts to fend off rival LVMH.

Hermes recently decided to create a holding that would allow family shareholders to control more than 50 percent of equity — following LMVH’s unwelcome 20 percent stakebuilding — but it needed the regulator’s (AMF) approval to waive the requirement to offer to buy out other shareholders. The AMF agreed to a waiver on Thursday and said it will publish a detailed ruling soon.

Shares of Hermes were down 2.6 percent, at 154 euros after the statement was released. The head of minority shareholders’ association ADAM said she would "very likely" appeal the decision. LVMH declined to comment.