LVMH chairman Bernard Arnault is to buy a stake in the holding company of French billionaire Arnaud Lagardere, the owner of his eponymous and indebted publishing house, Lagardere.
It will amount to around 25 percent of the share capital, according to a joint press release from Lagardere Capital & Management and Groupe Arnault.
It comes as the company looks for new investors to help fend off activist fund Amber Capital which has demanded drastic changes at the company including an attempt to replace its supervisory board.
French billionaires Vincent Bollore and Marc Ladreit de Lacharriere have also recently bought stakes in the firm.
Amber Capital is currently the Lagardère Group's largest shareholder with 18 percent of the capital.
“This merger will strengthen LC&M's structure and financial capabilities. The family groups of Bernard Arnault and Arnaud Lagardère will act in concert with respect to Lagardère SCA,” the joint press release said.
Arnault said: “I welcome Arnaud Lagardère's proposal to join forces with him. My friendship with Jean-Luc Lagardère (Arnaud’s father) has bound our families together and I have the utmost respect for the group he has built.”
The partnership agreement remains subject to “approval by the competent social bodies within the entities concerned”, according to the press release.
Photo: Bernard Arnault, courtesy of AFP - Francois Guillot