LVMH Increase Stake in Hermes International to 22.3 Percent
LVMH Chief Executive Bernard Arnault speaks during a news conference to present the group's 2010 results in Paris February 4, 2011. REUTERS

French multinational luxury conglomerate LVMH has increased its stake in rival company, Hermes, to 22.3 percent from an initial 21.40 percent, according to France's stock market regulator Autorite des marches financiers (AMF).

The new move by LVMH comes despite the recent establishment of a holding company by Hermes to lock up their shares. Earlier, the family members of Hermes had announced the establishment of a holding company - H51 - having 50.2 percent controlling power over the French luxury group.

This new move by the company has been aimed at preventing any kind of hostile takeover by the fashion giant LVMH.

According to reports, apart from the 50.2 percent of the share capital, the new entity will regroup more than 100 Hermes family shareholders and associates.

It will also have the first right of refusal on shares representing another 12.6 percent of capital. Moreover, only one third of the holding's members will be able to sell their shares as of 2031.

LVMH, the company behind Louis Vuitton handbags, Celine suits and Moet & Chandon champagne, had earlier acquired around 17 percent of Hermes stock. At that time, there had been speculations that the brand was planning a possible move to take over the popular family-owned luxury brand.

However, AMF mentioned that LVMH said that it had no plans to take control of Hermes or make a takeover offer.

According to the Wall Street Journal, LVMH's voting rights in Hermes have increased to 16% from under 15%. The rise in the proportion of its voting rights results from the increase in LVMH's stake and a decrease in the total number of voting rights of Hermes.

Hermes, however, was not available for comment on the recent increase in its stakes by LVMH.