November 27, 2010 / 11:30 AM / 7 years ago

Hermes hires banks, schedules meeting to plan defence-papers

PARIS, Nov 27 (Reuters) - French luxury goods group Hermes (HRMS.PA) has hired BNP Paribas and Bank of America Merrill Lynch as advisers in response to predatory moves by larger rival LVMH (LVMH.PA), The Daily Telegraph reported on Saturday.

Separately, Le Journal du Dimanche reported that descendants of the founding Dumas family, who control over 70 percent of Hermes shares, will meet on Friday Dec. 3 at the company's Paris headquarters to discuss how to maintain control of the group.

Options include a shareholder pact or the creation of a non-listed holding company grouping together and protecting the descendants' shares, Le Journal du Dimanche said.

The Telegraph said Hermes declined to comment on its information.

Hermes could not immediately be reached for comment by Reuters.

Hermes is already protected by its partnership structure which concentrates all the decision-making in the hands of family shareholders and makes takeovers nearly impossible.

Deputy Chief Executive Patrick Albaladejo told Reuters earlier this month: "The family is considering all options and has not taken any decision."

"It is possible that it might not be necessary to reinforce that structure," Albaladejo said. [ID:nLDE6AH16T]

LVMH, which is controlled by Bernard Arnault, took the market by surprise by announcing on Oct. 23 it had acquired 14.2 percent of Hermes and could increase its holding to 17.1 percent through derivatives, which it then did.

Reporting by Helen Massy-Beresford; Editing by Ruth Pitchford

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