FAIR IS FAIR: Two American funds and Artannes Capital, which hold minority stakes in Bulgari, sent letters last week to Consob, Italy’s Bourse watchdog, to expose an alleged mistake in the sale of the Italian jeweler to LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, according to Sunday’s Il Sole 24 Ore. The funds state that an additional 57,000 shares were sold by mistake from brothers Paolo and Nicola Bulgari to the French luxury conglomerate at 13.45 euros, or $19.30 at current exchange, and not at the price agreed upon, which was 12.25 euros, or $17.58. Because of this alleged mistake, said the funds, not all shareholders were treated equally. This follows the confirmation earlier this month that the relevant competition authorities, namely the European Commission, have cleared LVMH’s purchase of 50.4 percent of Bulgari in a cash-and-share swap valued at more than $6 billion. LVMH will also launch a tender offer for the remaining shares.The funds take issue with a limited number of shares, only 57,000 shares out of a total of more than 150 million, but they say this information was made public only on July 18, after the exchange of shares was completed (on June 30), and that Bulgari cashed in an additional 68,400 euros, or $97,612.According to Il Sole, this could push the remaining shareholders, which control a 25 percent stake, to demand to tag the price of the shares at 13.45 euros in occasion of the tender offer. A Bulgari spokesman said the company had no comment.
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