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Hermes Sells Stake in Leica Camera to Investment Co.

Hermès, the French luxury goods house, has agreed to sell its 36-per-cent stake in Leica Camera, one of the most famous names in photography, to ACM Projektentwicklung, a family-controlled Austrian investment company, writes Adam Jonesin Paris. The deal will be followed today by the formal disclosure of a release date for the M8, a new EUR 4,200 digital camera Leica hopes will go some way to reviving its glory years.

Leica Camera AG has achieved an out-of-court settlement with four plaintiffs in the actions for avoidance, among them Leasing- und Handelsservice Heinrich GmbH (Hettstadt) and EO Investors GmbH. Their actions for avoidance of the capital measures resolved by the General Meeting on May 31, 2005, which had been the subject of the ad hoc announcement of July 15, 2005, have been settled with mutual agreement. The remaining fifth action for avoidance had been brought in an unlawful way. It is expected that the procedure will be closed without further proceedings. Leica Camera AG will publish the invitation to subscribe for the capital increase in the electronic Federal Gazette without delay. The proviso made by major shareholders Hermès International SCA, Paris, France, and ACM Projektentwicklung GmbH, Salzburg, Austria, concerning their participation in the capital measures is thus no longer applicable. Both these major shareholders have confirmed, in conformity with market practices, in writing vis-à-vis Leica Camera AG that they intend to participate in the capital increase at least to the extent of their existing interests in the company.

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