After weeks of rumors, LVMH has officially announced its intention to buy iconic American jeweler Tiffany & Co. for a whopping $16.2 billion, Adweek confirmed. The all-cash deal is set to be one of the largest luxury deals in history.
That valuation means LVMH will be paying $135 per share for Tiffany & Co., the 182-year-old jewelry brand famous for the light blue hue of its boxes and bags currently operates 321 stores worldwide, including its iconic New York City flagship, which was immortalized in the 1961 Audrey Hepburn film Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Recently, the jeweler gained headlines for creating an actual eatery inside its Fifth Avenue store, the Blue Box Café, though it is currently closed for renovations.
Rumors that Tiffany & Co. would be sold to LVMH first surfaced a few weeks ago. It’s a fitting moment for a takeover: Tiffany’s sales have slumped in recent years as the brand has struggled to catch on with millennial consumers. Tiffany’s CEO, Alessandro Bogliolo, said in a statement that the deal would support the brand’s ongoing goal “to drive sustainable long-term growth.”
“We are delighted to have the opportunity to welcome Tiffany, a company with an unparalleled heritage and unique position in the global jewelry world, to the LVMH family,” CEO Bernard Arnault said. “We have an immense respect and admiration for Tiffany and intend to develop this jewel with the same dedication and commitment that we have applied to each and every one of our Maisons. We will be proud to have Tiffany sit alongside our iconic brands and look forward to ensuring that Tiffany continues to thrive for centuries to come.”
This purchase will bolster LVMH’s jewelry and watch division, which spans brands like Hublot, Bulgari and TAG Heuer that represent 9% of its revenue, according to an investor presentation. With this sale, watches and jewelry will make up 16% of LVMH’s revenue.
LVMH is the world’s largest luxury conglomerate, and Arnault is the richest man in Europe. Currently, the company owns 75 brands, including fashion houses Christian Dior, Louis Vuitton and Fendi, and beverage brands Moët & Chandon and Hennessy, among others.
The deal is expected to close in the middle of 2020. A representative for Tiffany & Co. did not immediately respond to Adweek’s request for comment.