The Latest Investments: Richard Mille, Loro Piana & Porsche


Sophie Doran | July 16, 2013

LVMH is fined €8 million over its stake in Hermès, as the luxury behemoth snaps up Italy's Loro Piana in a €2 billion transaction

LVMH Chairman and CEO, Bernard Arnault

LVMH is fined €8 million over its stake in Hermès, as the luxury behemoth snaps up Italy’s Loro Piana in a €2 billion transaction

Following more than two years of investigations, LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA has been fined €8 million by France’s financial markets regulator over how it built its stake in rival luxury-goods maker Hermes International (Bloomberg).

The level of the punishment reflected “the seriousness of the successive breaches of public disclosure requirements, which consisted in concealing each stage of LVMH’s stake building in Hermes,” the regulator said in a statement.

LVMH won’t be forced to give up its stake. The company maintains that it did nothing wrong after buying equity derivatives of Hermes shares in 2008 using cash-settlement equity swaps.

Bought: Loro Piana, LVMH

LVMH has agreed to pay €2 billion euros for an 80% stake in Italian cashmere clothier Loro Piana SpA, adding a high-quality textile producer to its burgeoning portfolio of luxury brands.

The transaction, which is subject to approval by competition authorities, values Quarona, Italy-based Loro Piana at 2.7 billion euros, LVMH said yesterday in a statement after the market closed. The family owners of the maker of $1,385 cashmere sweaters will retain a 20% stake in the business, Paris-based LVMH said.

Source: Bloomberg

Speculation: Kering, Richard Mille

Kering is reportedly in talks to buy control of Richard Mille, one of the most expensive watch brands on the market. The deal could value Richard Mille at 340-400 million Swiss francs, or 2.5-3 times its expected 2013 revenues of 135 million Swiss francs, according to Reuters.

PPR would at first acquire 51% of Richard Mille with the possibility of raising its stake further, while Richard Mille would be locked in the business as chief executive and shareholder for a number of years. The transaction is unlikely to close before early 2014.

Source: Reuters

Launched: Neiman Marcus, IPO

Neiman Marcus Inc has filed registration papers for an initial public offering as its private equity owners eye an exit for their long-held investment in the luxury department store operator. The Dallas-based retailer has been in the hands of private equity since 2005, when TPG Capital and Warburg Pincus LLC led a group that bought the Dallas-based retailer for $5.1 billion.

The initial prospectus did not set out a timeline for the IPO, how many shares will be sold and by whom, nor on which exchange Neiman shares would trade. The company indicated it was asking to raise up to $100 million, but that amount is the standard used in many IPO filings as a placeholder to calculate a company’s registration fees.

Source: FashionMag

Sold: Porsche, Qatar Holding

Qatar Holding, the investment arm of the Gulf state’s sovereign wealth fund, has sold its 10 percent stake in Porsche to the luxury automaker’s family shareholders, Qatar Holding said in a statement.

Qatar Holding said it sold the stake to the Porsche and Piëch families; it did not disclose the value of the transaction. The sovereign fund arm said it remained committed to the Integrated Automotive Group through its 17 percent stake in Volkswagen AG.

Source: Reuters

Stake: Wantful, Nordstrom

Nordstrom has bought an undisclosed stake in Wantful, a new start-up looking to leverage e-commerce to change how people shop for gifts. The companies have also banded together to launch a joint platform, from which they will share revenue, though both declined to detail the arrangement.

The Wantful platform asks users to enter information about whom they are buying for and how much they would like to spend, and the company then sends the gift recipient a customised catalogue of up to 12 potential items to select from. Options range from old Polaroid cameras and iPad cases to lamb chops and charitable contributions.

Source: Bloomberg Businessweek

Speculation: Kempinski, Acquisitions

Luxury-hotel operator Kempinski AG is said to be in talks to manage or buy properties in Barcelona, Paris and Nice, France, as it seeks to expand its European business.

The Geneva-based company is in advanced negotiations with owners of the three hotels, Chief Operating Officer Duncan O’Rourke told Bloomberg. The deals should be completed by early next year, he said, declining to identify the properties.

Source: Bloomberg

Finalised: Kering, Pomellato

Forbes has confirmed that Kering’s acquisition of Pomellato is now complete, with both companies saying that the agreement will mean that the jewellery brand will be able to further its international distribution. Kering purchased a majority stake and will leave current Andrea Morante as CEO.

Pomellato has a reputation of being amongst the top five European jewellers, with 2012 revenues of €146 million. Its distribution network includes 86 mono-brand stores (45 Pomellato, 41 Dodo) as well as approximately 600 independent points of sale around the world.

Source: The MO Down

Speculation: El Corte Ingles, Qatar Holding

Qatar Holding is reportedly eyeing a strategic investment in Spanish department store chain El Corte Ingles, after snapping up Harrods and a majority stake in Printemps. Qatar has reportedly made an initial offer of €800 million euros to Isidoro Álvarez, one of Spain’s richest entrepreneurs, for a controlling stake.

Source: CPP Luxury

Administration: Nicole Farhi

Fashion and homewares retailer Nicole Farhi has gone into administration. Trading will continue while it holds talks with interested parties. The restructuring specialists Zolfo Cooper have been appointed to advise the firm, which employs 75 staff across its retail network, and has another 44 staff employed at its headquarters in London.

Nicole Farhi has five standalone stores and also sells it’s clothing in department stores Harvey Nichols, House of Fraser and Selfridges across the UK.

Source: BBC News

Speculation: Moncler, IPO

Luxury down jacket maker Moncler is re-launching its IPO campaign as early as December 2013, with a valuation which has doubled in the past two years to about €2 billion. An attempt to float in 2011 was called off due to choppy markets but in the meantime sales have grown strongly for the company.

A December flotation would allow its top shareholder, private equity firm Eurazeo, to make a hefty profit on its purchase of a 45 percent stake in 2011 which valued the brand at €1.2 billion.

Source: Reuters

For more in the series of The Latest Investments, please see our most recent editions as follows:

- The Latest Investments: Coty, Versace & Pomellato
- The Latest Investments: Gucci, Printemps & Buccellati
- The Latest Investments: Qatar, Richemont & LVMH