Hermes family tightens grip on their Birkin bag


The descendents of Hermes founder Thierry Hermes own 73% of the french retailer of luxury goods (including the Birkin bag).

And they intend on keeping it a family business, and to maintain the Hermes culture.

About 70 family shareholders, descendents of the Puech, Dumas and Guerrand families received a little help in doing so this week when French market regulator Autorite des Marches Financiers announced that it would allow the Hermes family to pool their stakes in the company without having to buy out other investors.

The move makes it more impregnable to attack from outsiders.

Hermes is particularly concerned by the advances of  LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton which has recently built up a 20% stake in Hermes, and has been known to take over family-owned luxury brands.

"It was already a fortress, this decision means that the walls have been heightened," a business lawyer told Reuters.

Hermes family shareholders said in a statement: "This decision clears the way for our project to reclassify (our shares) which underscores the family's unanimous will to preserve Hermes's culture."

Sources: WSJ.com, and Reuters

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