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Could LVMH be considering a Richemont takeover?

By Rachel Douglass


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Image: LVMH, Facebook.

In the world of dominant luxury conglomerates, no move goes unnoticed, particularly when it comes to a clash of competition. This could be true for none other than LVMH, which currently finds itself in the rumour mill after reports stated the group was mulling a takeover of its direct competitor, Richemont.

Initially reported by Swiss newspaper Finanz und Wirtschaft, citing its sources were “whispers behind closed doors”, the high-end group, which owns the likes of Louis Vuitton, Tiffany & Co. and Fendi, is said to have set its sights on Cartier in particular, a Richemont-owned, Parisienne-founded jewellery brand.

The Swiss group Richemont, which also owns the likes of Chloé, Yoox Net-a-Porter Group and Montblanc, currently sits in fourth place as one of the biggest luxury companies in the world, according to a report by Insider Monkey, with a market capitalisation of just over 60 billion pounds.

Meanwhile, LVMH came in at the top spot, akin to that of its founder and CEO, Bernard Arnault, who was named the world’s richest man on Forbes’ billionaire list at the end of last year.

LVMH could potentially become a jewellery powerhouse

While such a prominent takeover would surely have the heads of competition authorities turning, it could transform LVMH into an accessory powerhouse, with Tiffany and Cartier perfectly positioned to complement one another and put the group into the absolute forefront of the luxury jewellery sector.

The takeover would also significantly strengthen LVMH’s watchmaking division, and would see it operate the likes of Jaeger-LeCoultre and Panerai, alongside its portfolio brands Tag Heuer and Hublot.

In recent years, the founder of Richemont, South African businessman Johann Rupert, has opposed any potential takeovers, and has instead cemented his stake in the group, adding Anton, one of his three children, to the board in order to ensure long-term decision-making.

Family matters have also been present at LVMH as of late. Last month, it was announced that Arnault had selected his eldest daughter Delphine to head the French luxury brand Christian Dior, just weeks after her younger brother Antoine was appointed CEO of Dior’s holding company and vice chairman of its board.

It is still uncertain whether these rumours are true and all companies involved have currently refused to comment to the media on the matter.