The New York-based jeweler - which sued LVMH on Wednesday to prevent the French luxury conglomerate from backing out of the November 2019 deal - wants to force the French billionaire to testify on the stand whether he asked French officials for help to scuttle the merger, which has soured since the Covid-19 crisis tanked Tiffany's business.
French luxury giant LVMH said Thursday it would counter-sue USA jeweller Tiffany, accusing it of "dishonesty" as their plans for a sparkling tie-up descended into bitter recrimination.
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Besides, as the shares' prices of Tiffany & Co. dipped as much as 6 per cent following the LVMH announcement, Tiffany Chair Roger Farah said in a statement, "We believe that LVMH will seek to use any available means in an attempt to avoid closing the transaction on the agreed terms". The group owns brands like Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior, as well as jewellery houses such as TAG Heuer and Bulgari. Shares are down about 14% year-to-date, bringing its market value to $13.8 billion.
Shares prices of the two companies were stable Thursday as Tiffany gave up just 0.1 per cent to US$113.91 in late NY trading while LVMH was essentially unchanged at 404.35 euros.
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On Thursday, LVMH called off the acquisition and Tiffany responded by saying it would take legal action to push the deal through.
"The long preparation of this assignment demonstrates the dishonesty of Tiffany in its relations with LVMH", the company said on Thursday. It said the jeweller's first half results and performance for 2020 "are very disappointing and significantly inferior to those of comparable brands of the LVMH Group during this period".
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Led by chairman Bernard Arnault, France's wealthiest man, LVMH also defended itself against Tiffany's accusations that it used delaying tactics, notably with competition authorities in Europe, in seeking the deal's approval. The company said it expects European Union officials will approve the deal next month after LVMH files for approval, which it plans to do in "the following days".