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Sep 18, 2020

LVMH submits US$16B Tiffany deal for European approval

Luxury brand bad blood as Tiffany sues LVMH over dropped takeover

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LVMH said that it has submitted its proposed US$16 billion deal to buy Tiffany & Co. to the European Commission for antitrust review as the luxury-goods giant tries to show it is making a good-faith effort even while attempting to back out of the acquisition.

In a statement Friday, LVMH said it took the latest step “as it has always stated it would do,” and that eight of 10 antitrust clearances have been obtained thus far. The French company also said it expects to get approval ahead of the Nov. 24 deadline to close the deal.

Tiffany is “delighted” with the filing, it said in a separate statement. “The speed with which LVMH acted after Tiffany filed its complaint in Delaware only underscores LVMH’s delays and lack of compliance with the merger agreement over the prior months.”

The filing comes in response to allegations by Tiffany that LVMH was trying to delay the deal by being slow to obtain regulatory approvals across several jurisdictions, including the European Union.

It’s the latest move in a back-and-forth saga between the luxury-goods companies, which had been heading toward a blockbuster tie-up as recently as a few weeks ago. After LVMH said this month it would pull out of the deal due in part to trade dispute between the U.S. and France, Tiffany sued to keep the deal on track.

Tiffany rose less than 1 per cent at 2:34 p.m. in New York after briefly spiking on the news and paring the gains. LVMH shares fell 1.5 per cent Friday in Paris.