Luxury fashion retailer Hermes has taken legal action against rival LVMH, citing the way it bought a stake in it two years ago.
Hermes – known for its silk scarves and leather bags – said it had filed the complaint in a Paris court on 10 July.
“This complaint relates to the terms in which LVMH became a stakeholder in Hermes International,” Hermes said.
LVMH, which currently owns 22.3% of Hermes, has been gradually increasing its holding.
In 2010 LVMH, which is controlled by billionaire businessman Bernard Arnault, revealed that it had built a surprise stake of 17% in its smaller rival.
As a result, Hermes family shareholders created a majority family holding controlling more than half of the company’s shares.
The move ensures any takeover attempt would now require the approval of the Hermes family – the majority stakeholder.
France’s AMF market watchdog is currently conducting a probe into the terms of LVMH’s stakebuilding.