Battle of the Rothschilds in Paris as Name Grab Sparks Complaint

  • Paris Orleans renamed Rothschild & Co. after general meeting
  • Name change defies legal complaint filed by EdR in March

The stage is set for a legal battle between two branches of France’s most famous banking dynasty after Paris Orleans decided to adopt the name Rothschild & Co.

Edmond de Rothschild group said it will pursue a complaint against Paris Orleans filed in March after the publicly traded French holding company’s decision to use the family name.

The banking group said it “deplores” a decision by Paris Orleans to rename itself Rothschild & Co. at an extraordinary general meeting on Thursday.

“The Edmond de Rothschild group has no recourse but to continue its legal proceedings to ensure that family rules are respected and that each Rothschild, in respect for family unity, is able to pursue their activities in healthy and fair competition,” the Geneva-based company said in an e-mailed statement.

Edmond de Rothschild group, led by Baron Benjamin de Rothschild and his wife Ariane, filed a competition complaint over the planned name change against cousin David de Rothschild’s Paris Orleans in a Paris court in March. Shareholders of Paris Orleans approved the name change with 87.1 percent of the vote in defiance of the March complaint.

“We are pleased with the large majority vote for the name change,” David de Rothschild said in a statement following the shareholder meeting.

Paris Orleans is the holding company for Rothschild businesses that provide merger advice as well as wealth and asset management and merchant banking services. Founded as a French rail company in 1838, it was used by David and Eric de Rothschild to restart the business in 1982 after a socialist government nationalized the family’s French bank in 1981.

Edmond de Rothschild group has 31 offices internationally and had 149.6 billion euros ($168.3 billion) in assets under management at the end of June. It provides private banking, asset management and other financial services. It holds 7.83 percent of the renamed Rothschild & Co. and has 10.57 percent of the voting rights, according to the statement.

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