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Oct 3, 2008
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LVMH takes 45 pct stake in Russian perfume retailer

Oct 3, 2008

PARIS (Reuters) - French luxury group LVMH is expanding its presence in Russia by taking a 45 percent stake in perfume retailer Ile de Beaute with an option to become majority owner later, it said on Friday.

No financial details were given, and it did not reveal any timeline for taking control.

Russia is one of LVMH's fastest growing markets, where it sells Louis Vuitton bags, Moet & Chandon champagne and Hennessy Cognac.

LVMH said it was doing the deal through its Sephora perfume and cosmetics retail chain. Ile de Beaute's current management would remain in place.

Ile de Beaute will have 100 stores at the end of 2008, the French group said.

"Its growth momentum is particularly strong and its stores are spread over the entire Russian Federation, particularly concentrated in large towns," LVMH added in a statement.

(Reporting by Astrid Wendlandt; Editing by David Cowell)

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