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Louis Vuitton parent wants to buy US jeweller Tiffany & Co

Luxury house LVMH has reportedly made a US$14.5 billion offer to acquire high-end jewellery retailer Tiffany & Co as part of an ongoing attempt to expand into the US market.

The jewellery firm currently has a market valuation of $11.9 billion, but the Financial Times quotes sources saying the US company is likely to reject the offer saying it undervalues the business.

The offer was lodged earlier this month, valued at US$120 per share which represented a 30-per-cent premium on the share price at the time. Since then, Tiffany’s share price has increased, so the offer now represents a smaller 22-per-cent premium, but is way lower than Tiffany’s share price in July last year when it peaked at $139.50.

A Reuters report stated that the potential acquisition comes “at a time when the US luxury jeweller grapples with the impact of tariffs on its exports to China”. The report said Tiffany has yet to respond and is currently reviewing the possible deal.

Unlike other luxury firms, LVMH’s business has not appeared to suffer a significant impact from the Sino-US trade war or pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, where the premium retail market has been hit by a decrease in Chinese tourists from the mainland. The firm beat sales forecasts for this year’s third quarter.

Neither company has commented on the bid.

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