Topline: The French luxury group LVMH, controlled by billionaire Bernard Arnault, has scooped up the heritage American jeweler Tiffany & Co. for $16.2 billion, making it the biggest luxury brand acquisition ever and adding to the firm’s portfolio, which includes Louis Vuitton and Sephora.
- The acquisition, confirmed by LVMH on Monday, is the biggest yet by Arnault, Europe’s richest person.
- LVMH will acquire Tiffany for $135 per share in cash, for a total of $16.2 billion—almost $2 billion higher than the initial bid that LVMH made for the luxury jeweler in October. Tiffany will sit among LVMH’s 79 brands, in its watches and jewelry division.
- The deal will strengthen LVMH’s position in North America and build on its foundation in the jewelry market.
- The deal is expected to go through in the middle of 2020, LVMH said. Shares of the Paris-based fashion house were up 2% on Monday morning, while Tiffany shares were up 6% in premarket trading.
- Arnault said of the move: “We have an immense respect and admiration for Tiffany and intend to develop this jewel with the same dedication and commitment that we have applied to each and every one of our Maisons.”
Key background: The acquisition had been in negotiations since October, after the initial offer of $120 per share made by Arnault was considered too low. LVMH hopes that it can bring back the sparkle to Tiffany that has dimmed in recent years. The 182-year-old American jeweler once enjoyed iconic status thanks to its robin’s-egg-blue branding and association with the movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s but has struggled to court young shoppers and adapt to changes in the spending habits of Chinese consumers.
Read the article on Forbes.