Qatar buys into LVMH Group

Whilst China continues to puff it’s chest out and show the world who’s boss, there is a dark horse coming down the straight in it’s shadow. The Middle East.

The Middle East used to be where China was albeit without the sheer numbers of both people and points of distribution, yet still a strong player on the emerging global luxury market scene, but took a back seat after the GFC hit.. Dubai was mainly effected but is scraping it’s way back.

But Qatar is a serious contender to be the next China… with it’s rich oil depots, they have the cash to splash at the moment. And that’s exactly what they are doing.

Fox Business reports that LVMH sovereign wealth fund Qatar Holding has amassed a stake of just over 1 per cent in LVMH.

Qatar Holding holds a 1.03 per cent interest in the company and has less than 1 per cent of voting rights in LVMH, the French company said in a legal filing Thursday.

Based on LVMH’s share price of €135 at the close on the Paris bourse Thursday, the stake is worth around €699 million. Qatar Holding are yet to confirm the latest financial deal.

It would seem that Qatar has quite an interest in France, with the cashed-up country going on a buying spree in recent months, pocketing an array of assets, from the highly publicized purchase of soccer team Paris Saint-Germain to stakes in flagship companies in heavy industry and the media.

The acquisition of a stake in LVMH is not Qatar’s first foray into the luxury sector either. The wife of the Qatari emir bought a controlling stake in French handbag maker Le Tanneur & Cie in May last year. In addition, the Persian Gulf state has participation in London department store Harrods.

LVMH is controlled by company Chief Executive Bernard Arnault and his family. The family owns 46 per cent of the company, and 62 per cent of voting rights.

As of late 2011, Qatar Holding’s investment in LVMH made it the sixth-largest shareholder after the Arnault family, Paolo and Nicola Bulgari, Amundi group and MFS group.

Image credit: bfg-global.com

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