LVMH weighs coronavirus impact on $16.2 billion Tiffany deal


Luxury giant LVMH is examining the coronavirus pandemic’s impact on its $16.2 billion takeover of Tiffany amid reports that it wants to renegotiate the deal.

The Paris-based conglomerate’s board of directors discussed this week how the virus crisis could affect Tiffany’s “results and perspectives” in relation to the companies’ November acquisition deal, LVMH said Thursday.

The Louis Vuitton owner also sought to quash rumors that it’s considering buying Tiffany stock on the open market, where the storied New York jeweler’s share price plunged as the coronavirus hammered retailers worldwide. Tiffany shares closed Wednesday at $114.24, roughly 15 percent below the $135 per share that LVMH agreed to pay.

“Considering the recent market rumors, LVMH confirms, on this occasion, that it is not considering buying Tiffany shares on the market,” the company said in a statement.

LVMH agreed to buy Tiffany months before the coronavirus upended the retail industry by forcing stores to close around the world. Tiffany’s shareholders approved the deal in early February, just weeks before the virus tanked global stock markets.

LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault has been looking for ways to pressure Tiffany into lowering the per-share price of the takeover amid the pandemic, Reuters reported Wednesday. But Tiffany reportedly isn’t convinced that there’s a legal basis for reopening the talks as it’s followed the financial covenants laid out in the deal.

LVMH — whose portfolio includes other posh brands, such as Fendi, Givenchy and Dom Perignon — also said it would not buy Tiffany shares on the open market in March, when Bloomberg News reported that the company raised the idea with Tiffany’s board.

Tiffany did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday morning.


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