LVMH donates tens of millions of euros to Parisian hospitals

LVMH is stepping up aid for France’s fight against the coronavirus, providing 261 ventilators to hospitals and reopening 12 of its Louis Vuitton handbag factories to sew protective masks.

The luxury goods giant, controlled by Europe’s wealthiest man, Bernard Arnault, has also donated funds to French hospitals through a foundation presided over by French first lady Brigitte Macron, LVMH said in an emailed statement.

French luxury houses have been racing to switch production to key medical supplies as the coronavirus crisis puts demand for products like handbags and perfume on hold. With luxury-goods sales set to fall as much as 35% this year, according to consultancy Bain, LVMH’s Givenchy and Dior cosmetics factories have been pumping out sanitizing gel for French medical services, with beauty groups L’Oreal SA and Clarins following suit.

France is seeking to roughly triple the number of beds in its hospitals’ life-support units as the world faces critical shortages of ventilators. Twenty of the donated devices have already been delivered to hospitals, LVMH said.

The cash donation to the Fondation Hopitaux de Paris-Hopitaux de France was in the tens of millions of euros, according to a person familiar with the situation, who asked not to be named because the amount is private.




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