Luxury powerhouse LVMH has announced that it will no longer go ahead with its proposed takeover of Tiffany & Co in light of “recent market rumours” amid the pandemic.
LVMH had initially announced a “definitive” agreement with the luxury jewellers last November, whereby it outlined its intention to acquire the group for $16bn (£12.5bn), or $135 (£105) per share in cash.
The transaction was expected to be finalised by mid-2020, but was yet to successfully close pending regulatory approval.
In its latest update, LVMH said that its board of directors convened on 2 June and “notably focused” its attention on the development of the pandemic.
Its directors then considered the pandemic’s “potential impact on the results and perspectives of Tiffany & Co with respect to the agreement that links the two groups”.
Following the meeting, the group confirmed that it is no longer considering buying Tiffany shares on the market “on this occasion”.
According to CNBC, LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault had been seeking ways to “pressure” Tiffany to lower the agreed deal price of $135 per share, prior to the board’s announcement.
LVMH had previously said that the acquisition would transform its watches and jewellery division, which includes Bulgari, TAG Heuer and Hublot, and “strengthen” its overall position in the jewellery sector, as well as boost its presence in the United States.
The addition was also set to “complement” its 75 other houses, which include Moët & Chandon, Dom Pérignon, Christian Dior and Givenchy.
The agreement would have marked the biggest takeover yet for the world’s largest luxury goods brand.