Image courtesy of Bulgari: Serpenti Bracelet
As most of you would have already heard by now, Bulgari and LVMH recently announced a new merger that will see LVMH issue 16.5 million shares in exchange for the 152.5 million Bulgari shares currently held by the Bulgari Family. This means the Bulgari family will become the second largest family shareholder of the LVMH Group.
LVMH honcho Arnault is certainly giving Pinault (semi-rival and owner of fashion’s other major conglomerate, Gucci Group) a run for his money – earlier last year he acquired shares in Hermes which ruffled a few feathers. Hermes CEO Patrick Thomas was recently quoted in The New York Times saying: “We don’t want to be a part of this financial world which is ruining companies and dealing with people like they are goods or raw materials. It’s not a financial fight, because we would lose that. It’s a cultural fight.”
Needless to say the announcement did have the achieved result of soothing the sting of the Galliano scandal last week.
It’s interesting to see how the industry has changed so much in the past 20 years. Back in the day most Italian brands were small family run businesses that operated independently. In fact many of them attribute their success to their close ties with their family from the Etros, Missonis and Fendis, to names like Versace and Ferragamo.
Today many brands seem destined for a conglomerate dominated future, especially when they need the resources take their operations to the next level (read: launch in China). In light of this, you have to admire brands that have been able to survive such an environment, such as Tod’s. More of this please!