Forget about Hermes for a minute. LVMH just a bought a company whose family actually wanted to sell.
The French conglomerate has acquired a 51% stake in Bulgari SpA, whose founding family owned a majority of the firm's shares up until yesterday. That stake translates to about $3.4 billion. While this gives the family less control over what happens at the company, they have gained two seats on the LVMH board of directors. What's more, Bulgari's CEO, Francesco Trapani, will take over management of LVMH's entire jewelry and watch division in the second half of 2011.
“The alliance between my Group and the Bulgari Family is a perfect combination from all points of view as we share the same culture in terms of respect for identity and roots of the brands, quest for excellence, creativity and innovation," said LVMH head Bernard Arnault in a statement. "As is the case with LVMH, the Bulgari Family shareholders are directly involved in managing the company, they are entrepreneurs that know and excel in all aspects of the business, from the creation of the product to after sales service. It is for these reasons that we immediately understood each other and agreed on the way we would work together. I am certain that our partnership will be greatly beneficial to Bulgari as well as to the LVMH Group.”