By now you probably know that LVMH is trying to take over Hermès. Despite stating that “LVMH has no intention of launching a tender offer, taking control of Hermès, nor seeking board representation,” Hermès thinks LVMH’s intentions are less than noble. Yeah, they’re pissed. So in a move that said “F off, Bernard!” Hermès invited Salma Hayek to a cocktail party celebrating the opening of its Left Bank megastore. Hayek is, of course, wife to PPR chief (and LVMH rival) François-Henri Pinault.
As WWD reports, the Pinaults staved off Arnault’s bid to take over Gucci in 1999. Could he step in and save Hermès? Hayek’s appearance at the party seemed like a big statement — a throwing down of the gauntlet, so to speak. The players involved are being quite coy though.
Hayek, “flashing a big smile”: “I don’t know about investment; I know about shopping.”
Hermès chief executive Patrick Thomas: “No, no, there is no message. We have always had a very good relationship with the Pinault family, for a long time. It is nothing new. They have always come to all our openings and they often invite us to theirs.”
Emile Hermès SARL executive chairman Bertrand Puech “deadpanned”: “She is a guest.”
Hermès doesn’t want to be bought by LVMH because it’s doing just fine on its own thankyouverymuch. 2010 has proven to be a record year for the brand as far as both sales and profitability are concerned. Plus, there was that cool severed hand fingerboarding video. The fiercely independent house has not yet decided if it is going to take new precautions to protect itself against LVMH, though Thomas noted the “family is serene.” We would be too if we had Pinault on our side.