Tiffany Falls as LVMH Reserves Right to Fight New Deal Date

Tiffany & Co. shares sank after proposed buyer LVMH said it reserves the right to challenge the new deal deadline, raising alarms on Wall Street that the planned tie-up might not survive the pandemic.

LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE, which last November announced plans to pay $16 billion for the U.S. jeweler, has maintained the right to fight the later-than-expected conclusion date for the deal, according to a filing. Tiffany this week extended the deadline for its LVMH deal by three months to Nov. 24, after the earlier deadline was set to expire Aug. 24.

Tiffany shares fell as much as 4.2% in New York on Tuesday, the most intraday in nearly three months.

Some view the LVMH move to reserve the right to challenge the later date as a sign the French conglomerate is keeping its options open after the U.S. jewelry market where it was trying to buy a foothold collapsed during the Covid-19 pandemic. Tiffany’s jewelry business tanked in the early stages of the lockdowns, with comparable sales in the Americas region falling 45% in the first quarter as the virus forced the jeweler to shutter nearly all its U.S. stores.

CNBC reported Tuesday that LVMH’s Chief Executive Officer Bernard Arnault is seeking a price cut on the Tiffany deal. LVMH plans to file a formal notification with the European Commission early next week, CNBC said, citing people it didn’t name.

Spokespeople for LVMH and Tiffany didn’t reply to requests for comment.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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