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FLOWER POWER?: LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton has been fielding interest from potential buyers for one of its less visible fashion properties — Kenzo, WWD has learned. According to market sources, the luxury giant engaged investment firm Crédit Agricole to evaluate a possible sale of the French fashion house, founded in 1970 by Kenzo Takada. The likelihood of a deal, and the identity of the interested parties, could not immediately be learned. An LVMH spokesman said Wednesday, “The company does not comment on rumors.”
It is understood LVMH, which has a strong cash position, would be fussy about selecting the right potential buyer, as it would be expected to hang on to the Kenzo perfume business, part of LVMH’s perfume and cosmetics division. Still, as the economic rebound gains traction and the mergers-and-acquisitions sector heats up, it’s an opportune time to gauge market interest. It is understood LVMH also could decide to hang onto the brand, one of about 60 in a portfolio that spans leather goods, retail, watches, beauty products and liquor. The Kenzo businesses, including fragrances, were acquired by LVMH in 1993 for $80.5 million.