Tiffany Shareholders Approve LVMH Acquisition

Tiffany & Co.’s shareholders have voted overwhelmingly in favor of the retailer’s acquisition by LVMH, the French conglomerate announced.

The special meeting of the company’s shareholders was held today.

The transaction is expected to close in the middle of the year, provided it receives regulatory approvals.

During a Jan. 28 earnings call, LVMH chairman and chief executive officer Bernard Arnault predicted that the purchase of Tiffany would be as successful as its purchase of Bulgari in 2011.

“Bulgari since we acquired it, we’ve multiplied the revenue by just over two, and operating profit fivefold,” he said, according to a SeekingAlpha transcript. “That’s a target we’re setting to our Tiffany teams.”

He admitted that, with Bulgari, delivering those improved results “took 10 years [so] we won’t deliver that tomorrow morning. But if we can achieve that, it will have been a good acquisition.”

On Nov. 24, LVMH agreed to acquire Tiffany for $135 a share, in a transaction valued at $16.2 billion. The deal, described as the largest ever in the luxury sector, will end Tiffany’s 32 years as a stand-alone public company.

LVMH first approached Tiffany about a possible acquisition last October. In the month when the two sides engaged in very public negotiations, Tiffany received no other “credible” takeover bids, it said.

Following the deal, watches and jewelry will comprise 16% of LVMH’s sales, up from their current 9%.

Said Arnault in a statement: “This approval is a significant milestone as we move closer to completing our acquisition of Tiffany, an iconic company with a rich heritage and unique positioning in the global luxury jewelry market. A globally recognized symbol of love, Tiffany will be an outstanding addition to our unique portfolio of luxury brands. We look forward to welcoming Tiffany into the LVMH family and helping the brand reach new heights as an LVMH maison.”

The possible impact of the Tiffany acquisition was discussed on the Jan. 17 episode of the JCK podcast, The Jewelry District.

(Image courtesy of Tiffany & Co.)

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JCK News Director