Burberry soars on rumours of suitors

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The Independent Online

Shares in Burberry soared to a record last week on persistent rumours that a bidder is circling the luxury retailer.

Burberry, famous for its check design and trench coats, saw its share price leap above £12 on Wednesday amid rumours of interest from Chinese investors. Burberry's share price has rocketed 96 per cent this year on the back of excellent sales growth but also on speculation that a number of global suitors are eyeing up the group. The PPR, the French owner of Gucci, and Coach, a US fashion and leather company, have been mentioned as predators but PPR denied it is interested. Burberry's shares closed down at £11.08 on Friday.

Also in the luxury sector, Deminor, a French shareholder consultancy, revealed it had written to LVMH asking for an explanation for its surprise 17.1 per cent stake building in Hermès. The stake-building has already been referred to the French bank regulator, ACP.

The family shareholders of Hermès agreed last week to place more than 50 per cent of the shares in a holding company to protect the luxury house from future takeover threats. The plan is awaiting regulatory approval.

Hermès family shareholders comprising the Guerrand, Puech and Dumas families make up 73 per cent of the shareholding.