Louis Vuitton owner closes in on $24b Tiffany deal


The new price is up from $US130 last week and $US15 higher than the original all-cash offer delivered to Tiffany by LVMH managing director Antonio Belloni on October 18.

It represents a 7.5 per cent premium over Tiffany’s closing share price on Friday and is more than 50 per cent higher than where the price stood before LVMH launched its effort to woo the company.

The two companies did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Aside from the price tag, the terms are not known.

LVMH, owned by Europe’s richest man, Bernard Arnault, has eyed the company for years after buying Italy’s Bulgari in 2011 for 3.7 billion euros, at the time the largest luxury goods deal in a decade.

Tiffany will help grow its smallest business, give it a bigger share of the lucrative US market and expand in jewellery, the fastest-growing sector in the luxury goods industry.

Bernard Arnault’s company LVMH owns the likes of Louis Vuitton, Moet & Chandon and Dior. Credit:Bloomberg

Known for its signature robin’s egg blue packaging, Tiffany rebuffed LVMH’s initial advance made just five weeks ago, arguing it significantly undervalued the company.

Reuters reported this week that LVMH had persuaded Tiffany to provide it with confidential due diligence after it raised its bid to $US130 per share, worth almost $US16 billion.

The news of Sunday’s boosted offer was first reported by the Financial Times.

Tiffany, founded in New York in 1837 and featured in the 1961 movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s starring Audrey Hepburn, had struggled with falling annual sales and profit since 2015, before a revenue turnaround in 2017.

Jewellery was one of the strongest performing areas of the luxury industry in 2018, according to consultancy Bain & Co, which forecast that comparable sales in the $US20 billion global market were set to grow 7 per cent this year.

Under chief executive Alessandro Bogliolo, former head of fashion firm Diesel and a Bulgari alumnus, Tiffany has been building up its e-commerce business and is trying to court younger shoppers with more affordable pendants, earrings and new designs.

Reuters

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