It has been speculated that Bernard Arnault, the wealthiest man in the world, and his LVMH (PARIS: MC.PA +2.25%) luxury conglomerate may acquire the Swiss luxury goods holding company Richemont (SWISS: CFR.SW +1.17%). The Swiss newspaper Finanz und Wirtschaft broke the story, saying that the information had been circulating in hushed tones behind closed doors.
Cartier, a jewelry and watch brand owned by Richemont, is said to be Arnault’s target because he thinks it will help grow LVMH’s jewelry division, which already has Tiffany & Co., Bvlgari, and Chaumet as part of it.
Cartier, Chloé, Montblanc, IWC, A. Lange & Söhne, Van Cleef & Arpels, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Panerai, Piaget, and Vacheron Constantin are just a few of the 26 maisons and businesses owned by Richemont, making it the fourth largest luxury company in the world by market cap.
Johann Rupert, a businessman from South Africa, founded Richemont in 1988, and ever since then, his family has owned the majority of the company’s shares. Rupert has been hesitant to cede power, as evidenced by his refusal to alter the family-dominated board of directors last year.
Our board of directors might be known for its cautious pace. However, its strengths lie in the very qualities that make it so open and collaborative. I will not be blackmailed, he declared in an extremely unusual interview.
In the coming months, we will learn much more.
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