LMVH has finalized its purchase of Tiffany & Co., snapping up the luxury jewelry retailer for $16.2 billion. The deal marks the French conglomerate’s largest acquisition ever, which is saying something considering the French conglomerate already owns Louis Vuitton and Dior amongst other iconic brands.
Back in October, reports surfaced that the companies were in talks after LVMH reached out with an initial offer of $14.5 billion (still more than what Tiffany’s stock was worth at the time). And now that the deal is finalized, it’s generally regarded as a coup for both companies: LVMH can help Tiffany grow and connect with younger, hipper audiences, while Tiffany will make LVMH a major competitor in the jewelry sector and increase the company’s foothold in American markets (fresh off the opening of the company’s controversial new Louis Vuitton workshop in Texas).
“Following a strategic review that included a thoughtful internal process and expert external advice, the board has concluded that this transaction with LVMH provides an exciting path forward with a group that appreciates and will invest in Tiffany’s unique assets and strong human capital, while delivering a compelling price with value certainty to our shareholders,” Roger N. Farah, chairman of Tiffany’s board of directors, said in a statement.
“We have immense respect and admiration for Tiffany and intend to develop this jewel with the same dedication and commitment that we have applied to each and every one of our maisons,” said LVMH chairman and CEO Bernard Arnault, the wealthiest person in Europe and the third-richest person in the world.
Last month, analysts at Bernstein wrote that an LVMH Tiffany takeover “could make a lot of sense.” But the purchase was so enormous that, as RBC analyst Rogerio Fujimori wrote in a research note reported by WWD, it will require “a bit more time” to generate a return on investment.
“We believe that LVMH can still generate long-term value from this strategic deal if it manages to reinvigorate Tiffany’s top-line story and improve Tiffany’s profitability in the long term,” he added.
Meanwhile, Bernard Arnault’s son Antoine–chairman of Loro Piana and chief executive officer of Berluti–seems pretty excited.