May 18, 2009

Louis Vitton buys stake of Bono

From the


LVMH buys stake in Bono's clothing company

LVMH MOET Hennessy Louis Vuitton, the world’s largest maker of luxury goods, has bought a minority stake in fair-trade clothing brand Edun from U2 singer Bono and his wife Ali Hewson for an undisclosed amount.

“We are going to take a stake in Edun, an ecological and ethical brand,” LVMH chief executive Bernard Arnault told shareholders at LVMH’s annual shareholders’ meeting in Paris.

“Edun demonstrates that it’s possible to promote fair trade in the fashion industry,” the Paris-based company said yesterday in an e-mailed statement.

No financial details of the transaction were disclosed but a report in the Wall Street Journal yesterday said LVMH was negotiating a stake of just under 50 per cent.

Established in 2005, Edun makes ready-to-wear fashion for men and women with suppliers from developing countries, such as India, Peru, Uganda, Kenya and Lesotho. The company says on its website it aims to encourage sustainable employment in developing regions, particularly Africa.

The acquisition is part of LVMH’s commitment to sustainable development, the company said in the statement.

“Edun is a start-up that could make a splash,” Bono said in the statement.

“With LVMH we can accelerate its development.”

Edun would sit alongside LVMH’s other fashion brands such as Celine, Kenzo, Marc Jacobs and Louis Vuitton.

As he announced the Edun deal, Mr Arnault said trading in April was broadly in line with the level seen during the first quarter, with a slight improvement in wines and spirits.

Jean-Jacques Guiony, LVMH finance director, later said there had been a slight improvement in wines and spirits particularly in Cognac sales, which made up about half of the unit’s sales.

Moet Hennessy, LVMH’s wines and spirit unit, saw revenues drop 22 per cent in the first quarter on a like-for-like basis. Hennessy volumes alone were down 21 per cent. – (Bloomberg/Reuters)

This article appears in the print edition of the Irish Times

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