Hermes seeks an insider trading probe into LVMH stake building

City A.M. Reporter
THE LONG-SIMMERING feud between two of France’s top luxury houses boiled over yesterday after Hermes asked French prosecutors to open a probe into alleged insider trading and share manipulation by larger rival LVMH.

LVMH has been gradually increasing its holding in Hermes since it surprised the market in 2010 by saying it had built up a 17 per cent stake.

The prosecutor’s office said yesterday that following a July complaint by Hermes, it had requested the opinion of stock market watchdog AMF before deciding if there was a case to open a possible criminal investigation.

LVMH, which owns 22.3 per cent in Hermes and now has 16 per cent of the voting rights said it planned to file a complaint for “blackmail, slander and illegal competition” and claimed its initial stake-building was “perfectly regular”.

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