Peltz Raises Stake in Tiffany

A group of funds led by investor Nelson Peltz has increased its stake in Tiffany & Co. to 7.9 percent, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

The luxury jewelry retailer also announced that it has extended its stock repurchase program and that it plans to two stores in Japan.

Peltz’s Trian funds, including Trian Fund Management LP, now own 10.7 million shares of the New York-based company, The Associated Press reports. In February, the activist investor first reported holding 7.5 million Tiffany shares, representing a 5.5 percent stake.

In related news, Tiffany & Co. said Thursday it has extended the expiration of its current stock repurchase program and authorized the additional repurchase of up to $500 million of common stock. This increase will enable the company to repurchase up to $637 million of its common stock through Jan. 31, 2011.

The Board’s last increase to the program was in August 2006, when it authorized the repurchase of up to $813 million of stock through Dec. 31, 2009. Of that, the company has spent $676 million to repurchase 15.4 million shares at an average cost of $43.92 per share.

There are approximately 127 million Tiffany shares outstanding.

Also, Tiffany & Co. said Thursday that it will open boutiques in Tokyo’s Matsuzakaya Ginza department store, and in Fukuoka’s Hakata Daimaru department store on March 1.

The 5,000-square-foot Matsuzakaya Ginza boutique is designed on two levels and is within the Matsuzakaya Ginza department store, located at 6-10-1 Ginza Chuo-ku, in Tokyo’s center of high fashion and luxury retail. The 1,700-square-foot Fukuoka boutique is situated in the Daimaru department store at 1-4-1 Tenjin Chuo-ku, a mainstay of luxury shopping in the city’s downtown business district.

The two boutiques bring the total number of Tiffany’s Japan locations to 56.