Tiffany busted deal is year's biggest to end up in court

Daniel Fowler
September 12, 2020

"We believe that LVMH will seek to use any available means in an attempt to avoid closing the transaction on the agreed terms", said Tiffany chairman Roger Farah.

LVMH has actually argued it can't complete its acquisition of Tiffany after the French federal government asked for a delay on sealing the deal.

A day after the New York-based luxury jewellery retailer Tiffany & Co. said it is suing LVMH for breaching a merger agreement, the French conglomerate called the move "unfounded" and pledged to take its own legal action.

The companies, two of the biggest luxury goods groups in the world, were slated to merge later this year before LVMH issued a statement claiming that "a succession of events" left the group unable to acquire Tiffany. It has clearly been prepared by Tiffany a long time ago and communicated in a misleading way to shareholders and is defamatory.

That led LVMH to "challenge the handling of the crisis" by Tiffany's management and view the lackluster results as a "material adverse effect" on Tiffany's business.

That didn't stop LVMH from issuing a press release on September 10 with the headline: "LVMH intends to file a lawsuit against Tiffany as a result of crisis mismanagement".

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Meanwhile, as an inevitable repercussion of an LVMH move to cancel its acquisition deal for the USA jeweller, Tiffany & Co.

Tiffany's market value is now much less than when the deal was signed.

Tiffany countered with a lawsuit, filed in DE, that LVMH was trying to leverage the protests against police brutality and the Covid-19 pandemic to seek a lower price.

But for LVMH, essential regulatory filings with EU authorities would take place "as expected, in the following days and this is simply the result of the planning fixed by the European Commission, about which Tiffany is completely aware".

A source close to the matter told AFP: "All this shows that relations with Tiffany are affected long-term, if not broken altogether". According to the company, it had a change until November 24 to pull out.

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