HERMES family determined to maintain control of the company

The majority family owners of French luxury goods firm Hermes  said they were determined to keep control after a minority shareholder group indicated it would try to block their voting rights.

France’s regulator ADAM (Association for the Protection of Minority Shareholders) has filed an application to prevent the family shareholders from using their voting rights during the annual general meeting on May 30, Hermes said in a statement on Thursday. "ADAM’s demand would end up handing control of the meeting to minority shareholder LVMH, whose entry into Hermes’ capital is under investigation by AMF," Hermes said.

 LVMH, the world’s biggest luxury goods group, surprised the luxury goods world in December by revealing it had built up its stake in Hermes to above 20%. Hermes family shareholders fought back in January by setting up a holding structure controlling more than 50 percent of the group. 

The initiative, which should have forced the new holding structure to offer to buy out other investors, was cleared by the French market regulator. ADAM said at the time it would appeal against the AMF decision.