Arnault quits Diageo board

THE ANNOUNCEMENT yesterday by Bernard Arnault, chairman of Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH), that he was resigning from the board of Diageo prompted a flurry of speculation that the French luxury goods group would now cut its 11 per cent stake in the British food and drinks giant.

Mr Arnault has repeatedly said the LVMH holding in Diageo is not a core long-term holding ever since he tried to block the pounds 24bn Guinness-Grand Metropolitan merger in October 1997.

However, the share price of the fast food, wine, spirits and beer group has done well, so there has been little pressure on Mr Arnault to sell, say sources close to the French group. Diageo's shares rose from around 550p in January to a high of 778.5p in the summer before the Asian turmoil and the strong pound forced them down to a low of 480.5p in October. Yesterday the shares finished 21p down at 684p.

Analysts said this was still well above the 630p Mr Arnault paid for around half his stake in Diageo. He extracted pounds 250m in cash in return for his agreement to the merger, as well as pounds 250m in dividends and pounds 300m in cost savings.

LVMH's shares fell 7 francs yesterday to Ffr1,078. LVMH said it would not be providing a replacement for Mr Arnault on the Diageo board, although it regards the trading joint venture between Diageo's wine subsidiary UDV and Moet Hennessy as a success.

A spokeswoman for Diageo said there were no plans for the UK group to cut its own 34 per cent holding in Moet Hennessy, even if Mr Arnault did reduce his stake in Diageo. The link with Moet Hennessy had gone "from strength to strength since the creation of Diageo", she said.

Mr Arnault said he was leaving "due to pressure of other commitments". He added: "I should like to emphasise that I fully support the way in which the Diageo board are managing the company."

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
newsAnother week, another dress controversy on the internet
Life and Style
Scientist have developed a test which predicts whether you'll live for another ten years
health
Life and Style
Marie had fake ID, in the name of Johanna Koch, after she evaded capture by the Nazis in wartime Berlin
historyOne woman's secret life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
News
news... and what your reaction to the creatures above says about you
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Ashdown Group: Junior Application Support Analyst - Fluent German Speaker

£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisor

£15000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Customer Service Advisor is r...

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey / South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

SThree: HR Benefits Manager

£40000 - £50000 per annum + pro rata: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn