AMF, France’s stock market regulator, is charging LVMH the largest fine it has ever imposed at a whopping €8 million ($10 million). The reason? The giant’s controversial purchase of a stake in Hermès, of course. While this number is slightly less than what was originally thrown around, we imagine things aren’t exactly sprightly over at LVMH headquarters.
According to the committee that made the decision, the luxury conglomerate is guilty of “failing to inform the market that it was preparing to raise its stake in Hermès and of having breached its disclosure requirements when publishing its consolidated financial statements for 2008 and 2009.” While we’re not exactly members of fashion’s chamber of commerce, that doesn’t sound good, and naturally LVMH is doing everything in its power to combat both the accusation and the monetary retribution.
“The very principle of the sanction and, even more so, the amount of the fine are completely unjustified in this case,” a spokesperson for the company told WWD.
As we’ve said before, while the money and legal battles are surely a thorn in their side, what’s really at stake here is LVMH’s reputation, and now that they’ve received a tit for a tat on the public stage, Bernard Arnault might want to find his very own Olivia Pope.
UPDATE: Despite the hefty $10m fine over its initial acquisition controversy, LVMH has yet again upped its stake in Hermès. As of June 30 the luxury conglomerate increased its number of shares up from 22.6 per cent to 23.1 per cent, pegging the decision as an “opportunistic move”. Evidently they’re quite liking their chances of screwing Victoria’s Secret.
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