Giorgio Armani explored a merger with French luxury group Hermes but without success, the Italian designer told Bloomberg, adding he planned to keep control of his fashion empire as long as he stays healthy.
Mr. Armani, who is in his 70s and one of Milanâ€™s long-established names, was quoted in an interview with the news agency as saying a merger with Hermes would have united the companiesâ€™ strengths in clothes and accessories.
“(A deal) could have been something fantastic,” Mr. Armani said in the interview published on Friday. “Hermes has such class, such prestige.”
Hermes has a market capitalization of about â‚¬11.4 billion ($15.12 billion). Armani is not listed but had turnover of â‚¬1.6 billion for 2007 â€” roughly on a par with Hermes.
Bloomberg quoted him saying that there were too many Hermes family shareholders to achieve an agreement.