The battle between rival luxury brands, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton and Hermès, just got even more complex. LVMH filed new charges this week against an unidentified Hermès executive for comments made that LVMH had conducted "fraudulent" activity. The newest claim stems from statements that Hermès CEO Patrick Thomas' made earlier this week at an annual meeting. He accused LVMH of either acting "fraudulently" or being "so disorganised" for not knowing how it came to obtain its initial 17.1 per cent stake. "I'll let you decide," he concluded. LVMH vice president, Pierre Godé, was quoted as confirming the new charges in French newspaper Le Figaro yesterday, saying that they had filed the suit "following what was said by the manager."
LVMH's latest lawsuit comes on the heels of a hearing in front of France's regulation authority, the Autorité des Marchés Financiers' sanctions committee, which recommended that LVMH be fined roughly $13 million forconcealing its gradual acquisition of Hermès, in violation of French financial reporting regulations. A final decision will be made by the committee by July 31.