Louis Vuitton owner LVMH to buy Tiffany for $16bn

LVMH close to buying Tiffany for more than $16.3 bln

Louis Vuitton owner LVMH to buy Tiffany for $16bn

LVMH and USA jewellers Tiffany announced on November 25, 2019 a $16.2 billion tie-up that is the French luxury group's biggest-ever acquisition and will bolster its presence in the United States.

"We are delighted to have the opportunity to welcome Tiffany, a company with an unparalleled heritage and unique position in the global jewellery world, to the LVMH family", said the group's chief executive Bernard Arnault. He added that a management shake-up was not on the cards for now.

After the acquisition took place this weekend, LVMH released a statement outlining that the move "will strengthen LVMH's position in jewelry" in the United States and will "transform LVMH's Watches & Jewelry division and complement LVMH's 75 distinguished Houses". The deal, "which occurs at a time of internal transformation for our legendary brand", would help provide that support. The deal is expected to close in mid-2020 and has the potential to radically reshape the now luxury watch retail landscape.

The deal, which has been approved by the boards of both companies, is expected to close in the middle of 2020.

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LVMH shares rose 2.3 percent to stand at 405.30 euros in midday trading in Paris. While the company dwarfs Tiffany, with sales of about US$50 billion, some analysts had predicted LVMH might need to pay even more, with price targets of US$140 at Credit Suisse and US$160 at Cowen.

The store was immortalized in the 1961 movie, "Breakfast at Tiffany's" which features Audrey Hepburn in perhaps her most famous part and the luminous song, "Moon River".

Rumors of a potential deal began rumbling last month, prompting Tiffany to confirm it had received an unsolicited bid for $120 per share, valuing the company at $14.5 billion. They have risen since the LVMH first announced a bid for Tiffany, and struck a record high of 407.85 earlier this month.

Cereda said LVMH can leverage these to target the Asian millennial market, which would mean a "rethinking of the current product mix and its US footprint, in our view".

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Chinese consumers in their 20s and 30s are helping to fuel growth across the luxury goods industry.

Growth in jewellery outpaced that of other luxury businesses such as fashion in 2018, according to consultancy Bain & Co, which forecast comparable sales in the $20 billion global jewellery market were set to grow 7 per cent this year.

But with Tiffany at 10.8 percent and LVMH at 7.5 percent, combined they will now lead the segment.

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