Luxury goods group LVMH in $14.5bn Tiffany takeover talks

Luxury goods group LVMH in $14.5bn Tiffany takeover talks

"They say diamonds are a girl's best friend and Europe's richest man, and owner of Louis Vuitton Bernard Arnault, obviously feels that adding U.S. jeweller Tiffany to his list of brands will prompt a similar uplift to LVMH's global revenues", said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK.

New York-listed Tiffany, famous for its diamond engagement rings, is said to have hired advisers to review the offer.

LVMH did not immediately respond to ABC News' request for comment Monday but confirmed news of the proposed acquisition to The Associated Press, saying in a statement that "there can be no assurance that these discussions will result in any agreement".

LVMH is the world's largest luxury conglomerate and owns brands including Louis Vuitton, Bulgari jewellery and Moët & Chandon champagne.

The deal would give LVMH more influence within the luxury jewellery sphere, following on from its 2011 acquisition of Italian jeweller Bulgari.

Shares in European watch and jewellery companies were among the top gainers in Europe in early deals after news of LVMH's interest in Tiffany.

Analysts said Tiffany could be worth as much as $140-$160 per share.

LVMH shares were up 1% in early trading. LVMH has a market capitalization of about $215 billion.

High-end brands have also long relied on Hong Kong as a major shopping hub drawing visitors from mainland China in particular, and four months of pro-democracy demonstrations are starting to take their toll. Earlier this month, it opened a new Louis Vuitton factory in Texas in a ceremony that included President Donald Trump as the French company sharpens its focus on the US, its second-largest region by revenue behind Asia.

However, a Financial Times report on Sunday said Tiffany might reject the offer as undervalued.

The deal would be the biggest takeover of 70-year-old Mr Arnault's life and give his firm a significant foothold in the USA luxury market.

Tiffany & Co. was founded in 1837 in New York City and its jewelry blue boxes have become legendary.

Bogliolo, a former executive of Bulgari and jeans label Diesel who was hired by the US jeweller two years ago after hedge fund Jana Partners pushed for changes, has refreshed Tiffany's marketing. The strong dollar has also made Tiffany products more expensive for consumers outside the U.S.

In jewelry, LVMH isn't as dominant as in fashion.

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