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LVMH’s Bernard Arnault acquires ‘small’ stake in rival Richemont

French billionaire Bernard Arnault has taken a personal equity stake in Swiss luxury company Richemont, according to a Bloomberg report.

SEE ALSO: Richemont annual sales up 3 percent despite ‘softening’ APAC in Q4, new CEO revealed

Arnault, LVMH chairman and chief executive officer, has a “small” stake in Cie Financiere Richemont SA, and forms part of a broader Arnault family-owned portfolio of investments in publicly listed companies, a source disclosed to the news outlet.

Arnault currently intends to hold the stock only as an investment, the source added, with exact terms of the stake not disclosed.

Richemont, the owner of Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, and Chloé, among other luxury brands, is controlled by South African billionaire Johann Rupert, the company’s chairman,  with 51 percent of the voting rights, despite owning only 10.2 percent of the capital.

The company boasts a market value of CHF 84.7 billion (USD 91.3 billion), in comparison to LVMH, with a market capitalisation of about EUR 366 billion (USD 391 billion).

In its most recent trading update, Richemont reported a 3 percent increase in full-year revenues to EUR 20.6 billion, despite sales growth slowing in the fourth quarter on a “softening” Asia Pacific.

At the time of reporting in May, Richemont also announced the promotion of Nicolas Bos, currently chief executive of Van Cleef & Arpels, to the re-established role of CEO of Richemont, effective June 1.

Bram Schot was also named non-executive deputy chairman from September, succeeding Josua (Dillie) Malherbe, who steps down after 11 years.