UPDATE 1-Hermes denies plans to make offer for Mulberry

Wed Mar 6, 2013 6:04am EST

* Hermes says not mulling bid for Mulberry

* Is keen to focus on organic growth (Adds background, details)

PARIS, March 6 (Reuters) - Hermes on Wednesday denied plans to make an offer for rival British handbag maker Mulberry after a press report that the French luxury group was mulling a bid.

"Hermes denies having had any contact with or planning to acquire the company Mulberry," Hermes Deputy Managing Director Patrick Albaladejo told Reuters.

Prior to Hermes's denial, Mulberry shares were up 8.5 percent. By 1009 GMT, the stock was flat at 1300 pence.

Mulberry had gained 6.8 percent on Tuesday and the Daily Mail reported that "rumors were rife" that Hermes could be lining up a 1.5 billion pound, 25 pounds per share cash bid for the company.

But Hermes management has said several times in the past that it is focused on growing its business organically and it is not looking to diversify through an acquisition.

When Hermes has pursued takeovers, they have tended to target existing suppliers or craftsmen with which it would like to work.

in January, the company, which owns silk providers, texile manufacturers, shoe and watch makers, bought the d'Annonay tannery in the Rhone Valley, one of its key providers of calf leather. (Reporting by Astrid Wendlandt; Editing by Christian Plumb)

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