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A tense, court-imposed cease-fire seemed to be holding between Gucci Group N.V. and LVMH Mo’t Hennessy Louis Vuitton S.A. in mid-March. After LVMH, the French luxury goods house, had snatched up 34 percent of Gucci’s stock in January, the leather goods company countered with a daring legal ploy: It issued exactly the same number of shares to an employee stock ownership trust, thereby stymieing LVMH. LVMH ran to court, which suspended the voting rights for both the ESOP and LVMH’s shares and told the warring dictators of fashion they should try to reach a settlement.

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