LVMH, world leader in high-quality products


LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton (French: [mɔɛt‿ɛnɛsi lwi vɥitɔ̃]),[1] commonly known as LVMH, is a French[3] multinational holding and conglomerate specializing in luxury goods, headquartered in Paris.[4] The company was formed in 1987 through the merger of fashion house Louis Vuitton (founded in 1854) with Moët Hennessy, which was established following the 1971 merger between the champagne producer Moët & Chandon (founded in 1743) and the cognac producer Hennessy (founded in 1765). In 2023, with a valuation of $500 billion, LVMH became the most valuable company in Europe.

LVMH controls around 60 subsidiaries that manage 75 prestigious brands. In addition to Louis Vuitton and Moët Hennessy, LVMH’s portfolio includes Tiffany & Co., Christian Dior, Fendi, Givenchy, Marc Jacobs, Stella McCartney, Loewe, Loro Piana, Kenzo, Celine, Sephora, Princess Yachts, TAG Heuer, and Bulgari. The subsidiaries are often managed independently, under the umbrellas of six branches: Fashion Group, Wines and Spirits, Perfumes and Cosmetics, Watches and Jewelry, Selective Distribution, and Other Activities. LVMH owns Les Echos-Le Parisien Group, its media subsidiary. The wine estate Château d’Yquem, whose origins date back to 1593, is under LVMH ownership.[8] Bernard Arnault is the chairman and CEO of LVMH.

History

In the 1980s, French investor Bernard Arnault had the idea to create a group of luxury brands.[9] He worked with Alain Chevalier, CEO of Moët Hennessy, and Henry Racamier, president of Louis Vuitton, to form LVMH.[10] Their successful integration of various famous aspirational brands into a single group inspired other luxury companies to do the same. Thus, the French conglomerate Kering and the Swiss-based Richemont have also created extended portfolios of luxury brands.[citation needed] LVMH is a component of the Euro Stoxx 50 stock market index.[11]

Make Up For Ever was established in 1984,[12] and was acquired by LVMH in 1999.[13]

On 7 March 2011, LVMH announced the acquisition of the 50.4% family-owned shares of the Italian jeweller Bulgari and the intention to make a tender offer for the rest, which was publicly owned.[14] The transaction was about $5.2 billion.[15]

By 2012, LVMH established LCapitalAsia, a continuation of its private-equity arm, focused on Asia.[16] In 2012, the growth of LVMH’s sales “decreased by about 10 percent from the growth rate in 2011”, and in early 2013 LVMH expressed that it would “stop opening stores in second and third-tier cities in mainland China”.[16] Xue Shengwen, a senior researcher at ChinaVenture, said the developing trend of young people is to take advantage of more acceptable prices.[16]

On 7 March 2013, National Business Daily reported that mid-priced clothing brand QDA would open its first store in Beijing as a co-investment of LVMH’s private equity LCapitalAsia and the Chinese apparel company Xin Hee Co., Ltd.[16]

In February 2014, LVMH entered into a joint venture with the Italian fashion brand Marco De Vincenzo, taking a minority 45% stake in the firm.[17][18]

In 2016, L Catterton Asia and Crescent Point, two private equity firms backed by LVMH, bought a majority stake in GXG.[19]

In April 2017, LVMH announced it would gain ownership of Christian Dior haute couture, leather, men’s and women’s ready-to-wear, and footwear lines to integrate the entire Christian Dior brand within its luxury group.[20]

In January 2018, LVMH announced record sales of 42.6 billion euros in 2017, up 13% over the previous year, as all divisions turned in strong performances. In the same year, the net profit increased by 29%.[21] On 1 November 2018, co-founder Alain Chevalier died at age 87.[22]

a tall blue glass building with angles
The LVMH Tower in Midtown Manhattan, with its bluish, gem-shaped, angulated glass facade

On 12 May 2019, the fashion house Fenty, styled as FEИTY, created by singer Rihanna, was launched by LVMH in Paris. It is the first new fashion house by LVMH in 32 years, and she is the first woman of colour to head a brand under LVMH.[23][24] On 15 July 2019, LVMH announced a new partnership to further develop the Stella McCartney House.[25] On 29 November 2019, LVMH announced its 55% stake in Château d’Esclans, the producer best known for the brand Whispering Angel.[26] The acquisition was part of LVMH’s move to offer a beloved high-end rosé portfolio, in addition to reaching customers worldwide.[27][28] In November 2019, LVMH expressed plans to acquire Tiffany & Co. for approximately US $16.2 billion. The deal was expected to close by June 2020.[29] LVMH issued a statement in September 2020 indicating that the takeover would not proceed and that the deal was “invalid” because Tiffany handled the business during the COVID-19 pandemic.[30] Subsequently, Tiffany filed suit against LVMH, asking the court to compel the purchase or to assess damages against the defendant; LVMH planned to counter sue, alleging that mismanagement had invalidated the purchase agreement.[31]

In mid-September 2020, a reliable source told Forbes that the reason for Arnault’s decision to cancel the Tiffany purchase was purely financial: because Tiffany was paying millions in dividends to shareholders despite a financial loss of US$32 million during the pandemic. Some US$70 million had already been paid out by Tiffany, with an additional US$70 million scheduled to be paid in November 2020.[32] LVMH filed a counterclaim against the court action commenced by Tiffany; a statement issued by LMVH blamed Tiffany’s mismanagement during the pandemic and claimed that it was ‘burning cash and reporting losses’”.[33] In late October 2020, Tiffany and LVMH agreed to the original takeover plan, though at a slightly reduced price of nearly $16 billion, a minor reduction of 2.6% from the aforementioned deal. The new deal reduced the amount paid per share by LVMH from the original price of $135 to $131.50.[34] As of late 2020, LVMH has the largest market capitalization of any company in France,[35] and also in the Eurozone with a record of 261 billion euros ($317.6 billion).[36] As of December 2020, Arnault’s own fortune was nearly half that, with a personal net worth of $151.7 billion.[37]

LVMH completed the purchase of Tiffany in January 2021.[38] In 2021, with a valuation of $329 billion, LVMH became the most valuable company in Europe.[39]

In January 2022, LVMH acquired a minority stake in the New York-based label Aimé Leon Dore for an undisclosed sum. The investment was made through the conglomerate’s LVMH Luxury Ventures arm.[40] In March 2022, LVMH announced the closure of its 120+ stores in Russia, “given the current circumstances in the region”,[41] due to the Russo-Ukrainian War. An LVMH spokesperson stated the company would continue to pay salary and benefits to its 3,500 employees in Russia.[41] In November 2022, it was announced LVMH had acquired the Piedmont-based jewellery maker Pedemonte Group.[42]

On 24 April 2023, LVMH became the first European company to reach a $500 billion valuation.[43]