The chairman and chief executive of LVMH, Bernard Arnault, says his group’s recently acquired stake in Hermès International is a “long-term investment”.

He was responding to calls from Hermés chief Patrick Thomas and family shareholders, to relinquish the shareholding, which they consider to be a “hostile” move.

However, Arnault described the purchase of 17.1% of Hermès capital this month as “amicable” to French newspapers and said that LVMH had no intention of seeking a seat on Hermès board.

“We have acquired this shareholding in a completely regular manner. What is hostile is to be told, via the press, to sell our shares,” he is quoted as saying.