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LVMH is close to buying Tiffany in a $16.7 bn deal, ending jewellery-maker's 182-year history as a stand-alone brand

The transaction would be the largest-ever in the luxury sector.

New York Times|
Updated: Nov 25, 2019, 01.00 PM IST
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Change seems to be the constant in the universe of fashion. And it's not just trends that change by the hour.

In a globalised world, a fast-moving product cycle, durability and heritage, along with evolving styles, have forced the fashion world to look at collaboration closely.

U.S. retailer Michael Kors created a buzz when it agreed to buy luxury shoemaker Jimmy Choo for $1.2 billion, snapping up a British brand launched in the east end of London and made famous by celebrity fans including Princess Diana.

(Image: Facebook, Instagram)
Change seems to be the constant in the universe of fashion. And it's not just trends that change by the hour. In a globalised world, a fast-moving product cycle, durability and heritage, along with evolving styles, have forced the fashion world to look at collaboration closely. U.S. retailer Michael Kors created a buzz when it agreed to buy luxury shoemaker Jimmy Choo for $1.2 billion, snapping up a British brand launched in the east end of London and made famous by celebrity fans including Princess Diana. (Image: Facebook, Instagram)
By Vanessa Friedman, Elizabeth Paton and Andrew Ross Sorkin

LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton will be having a lot of breakfasts at Tiffany’s — as well as lunches, dinners and board meetings.

The world’s largest luxury goods company is close to completing a deal to buy Tiffany & Co., according to people briefed on the acquisition. The transaction, worth $16.7 billion, would be the largest ever in the luxury sector.

The companies were putting the finishing touches on the deal Sunday afternoon, with the boards of both companies meeting to approve it, these people said. They hope to announce it Monday morning.

LVMH is dominant in the fashion, leather goods and wines and spirits sectors with brands like Dior, Givenchy, Fendi, Château d’Yquem and Dom Pérignon. The acquisition of Tiffany would make it a major player in the so-called hard luxury sector (things like watches and jewellery), adding to its purchase of Bulgari in 2011. It also gives the French group its most significant beachhead in the American market. The Tiffany brand is recognizable around the world thanks to its signature blue boxes, but it also occupies a singular, romantic place in the American landscape: Its Fifth Avenue flagship is as much a landmark in the myth of aspiration and the gleaming promise of sparkling baubles as Rockefeller Center or the Plaza hotel.


At the same time, the deal would end Tiffany’s 182-year history as a stand-alone brand, and it reflects the difficulty of remaining independent in an age of increasing consolidation.

LVMH, controlled by Europe’s richest man, Bernard Arnault, will pay $135 per share in cash for the jeweller, these people said. The terms of the final bid, which were first reported by the Financial Times on Sunday, value Tiffany shares at $16.3 billion. The company has about $350 million in debt.

​Earlier this year, LVMH had created a new luxury house, Fenty, with Rihanna​.
Earlier this year, LVMH had created a new luxury house, Fenty, with Rihanna.

LVMH’s takeover of Tiffany signifies the company’s increasing interest in areas beyond traditional soft luxury goods like clothing and leather goods. It follows its acquisition of Belmond hospitality group last December for $2.6 billion and a majority stake in the German luggage brand Rimowa in 2016 for $719 million. It also marks LVMH’s second major investment in an American brand this year, following its creation of a new luxury house, Fenty, with Rihanna.

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22 Sep, 2017
Change seems to be the constant in the universe of fashion. And it's not just trends that change by the hour. In a globalised world, a fast-moving product cycle, durability and heritage, along with evolving styles, have forced the fashion world to look at collaboration closely. U.S. retailer Michael Kors created a buzz when it agreed to buy luxury shoemaker Jimmy Choo for $1.2 billion, snapping up a British brand launched in the east end of London and made famous by celebrity fans including Princess Diana. (Image: Facebook, Instagram)
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