HOLLAND: Gucci To Take LVMH To Appeals Court
Gucci said that it would oppose LVMH's action in Amsterdam's Court of Appeals Enterprise Chamber, and is confident that it will prevail. This court has previously upheld Gucci's alliance with PPR. This partnership has been endorsed by independent shareholders in two interim shareholders votes and it has been a major success, driving Gucci's multi-brand strategy and delivering significant shareholder value. Gucci is confident that should the Enterprise Chamber decide to hear this case it will continue to uphold the Gucci-PPR alliance.
"LVMH's application in the Enterprise Chamber is yet another attempt to prevent Gucci pursuing its successful business strategy, which places Gucci in direct competition with LVMH in many areas of the luxury goods business," Gucci claimed.
In a counterclaim filed in October by Gucci in the District Court as part of its defense against LVMH, Gucci asked the court to rule that LVMH, the largest supplier of luxury leather goods and a significant shareholder in Gucci, is abusing its position by exercising an anticompetitive influence over Gucci's business. Accordingly, Gucci asked the court to require the orderly divestiture of LVMH's shareholding in the Company.
Gucci notes that LVMH alleges for the first time that there were inappropriate grants of stock options to certain members of senior management. For the record, in July 1999 shareholders authorized 1.5 million shares for grant under Gucci's Incentive Stock Option Plan and in June 2000 authorized an additional 6.0 million shares. In each case, the vast majority of independent shareholders voted in favour of the authorisation.
In addition, and consistent with Gucci's long standing policies and practices, options were granted to Gucci's senior management following a recommendation by the Remuneration Committee of Gucci's Supervisory Board, the majority of whom are independent directors, and approved by the full board, the majority of whom independent directors. Gucci rejects LVMH's allegations. Moreover, Gucci notes that LVMH voted in favour of the 1999 authorisation and did not oppose the 2000 authorisation.
Gucci Group N.V. is one of the world's leading multi-brand luxury goods companies. Through the Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, Sergio Rossi and Boucharon brands It designs, produces and distributes high-quality personal luxury goods, Including ready to wear, handbags, luggage, small leather goods, shoes, timepieces, jewelry, ties and scarves, eyewear, perfume, cosmetics and skincare products. The Group directly operates scores in major markets throughout the world and wholesales products through franchise stores, duty free boutiques and leading department and specialty stores. The shares of Gucci Group N.V. are listed on the New York Stock Exchange and on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange.
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