That divestment of LVMH’s shares in Hermès is coming sooner than you may have anticipated. After a regulatory filing late last month, in which LVMH outlined how it will rid itself of its 23% holding in the Birkin bag company (which it acquired in violation of French stock market rules), the luxury conglomerate has released a statement, entitled “Exceptional distribution in kind of shares of Hermès International,” which states that the LVMH board is set to approve the relinquishment plan at its Combined General Meeting on November 25 and that the proposed relinquishment will occur on December 17. LVMH states that the divestment comes on the heels of “a settlement agreement aimed at restoring a climate of positive relations between them.” Pursuant to this settlement, LVMH will rid itself of the majority of its Hermès shares, and both the conglomerate and chairman Bernard Arnault personally will not to acquire any Hermès shares during a five-year period from the date of distributing the shares it currently holds.
According to the statement, “In the event that the LVMH General Shareholders’ Meeting approves this distribution, Financière Jean Goujon and Christian Dior shall distribute the Hermès shares that they receive to their respective shareholders.” Moroever, LVMH states: “Following the completion of these transactions, LVMH, Financière Jean Goujon and Christian Dior will no longer hold any Hermès shares with the exception of Hermès shares representing rights to fractional interests or non-distributed shares due to the distribution ratio. These shares will be sold no later than September 3, 2015.”
Christian Dior, which currently holds 40.9% of LVMH’s share capital through its wholly-owned subsidiary Financière Jean Goujon, issued a similar statement to its shareholders, as well. Dior has also agreed to distribute the Hermès shares that it will receive from LVMH (indirectly through Financière Jean Goujon) to its own shareholders.