In one of the largest trades in the history of luxury brands, French multinational luxury goods conglomerate LVMH is reportedly about to announce its purchase of the 182-year-old high-end jeweller Tiffany & Co. after increasing its share purchase offer.
LVMH will reportedly pay US$135 per share for Tiffany & Co. and the deal could be announced on Monday (Paris time).
LVMH sent an unsolicited proposal on 28 October to buy Tiffany & Co. for US$120 per share in cash, a valuation of US$14.5 billion. The offer represented a 20% premium on the Tiffany share price but the stock jumped on news of the offer, closing at nearly US$126 on Friday. Analysts said the deal would be a good move for Tiffany, though the initial offer slightly undervalued the company.
Tiffany & Co. is based in New York, US, and currently employs 14,000 people and operates across 300 stores around the world. Its little blue boxes remain an iconic symbol and its sparkling Fifth Avenue flagship in Manhattan, the site of the 1961 movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s starring Audrey Hepburn, now invites tourists and New Yorkers others to have breakfast there too.
In recent years, Tiffany & Co.’s sales have slumped and it has struggled to connect with the millennial consumers that so many brands are trying to woo, CNN reported.
LVMH has enjoyed much more success, using influencers including Kylie Jenner and Cardi B. LVMH owns major high-end fashion brands Christian Dior, Fendi and Louis Vuitton. Earlier this year, the conglomerate acquired Rihanna’s Fenty and Fenty Beauty fashion and cosmetics lines, which have enjoyed unique success with a diverse young female clientele.
Buying Tiffany & Co. reinforces the Paris-based LVMH’s jewellery and watch empire. It already owns Italian jewellers Bulgari and watchmakers TAG Heuer and Hublot. Sales in that division make up only 9% of the company’s total revenue and Tiffany appeals to a much broader customer base.
LVMH only makes about a quarter of its revenue from the US, whereas Tiffany’s US sales accounts for more than 40%. Tiffany has also had success growing its business in China, where other luxury retailers have struggled.