Bernard Arnault has again upped his stake in Lagardère SCA, as a French commercial court is expected to wade into a battle between French industry titans for control of the embattled publishing and retail company.

Acting in concert, Groupe Arnault and Financière Agache, the holding company controlled by Groupe Arnault, together with a group of companies controlled by Arnaud Lagardère, chief executive officer of Lagardère, now jointly hold 15.01 percent of the capital of Lagardère SCA and 16.93 percent of voting rights.

The move, revealed by stock market regulator AMF in a filing on Tuesday, comes as a Paris court is set to rule on Wednesday on a request from Vivendi, a media group controlled by French billionaire Vincent Bolloré, and activist investor Amber Capital for an exceptional shareholder meeting, part of their bid to gain board representation. Continue reading