LVMH set to block Tiffany’s court petition

LVMH has announced it plans to block a court petition launched by jewellery company Tiffany & Co, who is attempting to fast-track legal proceedings after LVMH exited a proposed $16bn (£12bn) merger.

The Louis Vuitton owner had agreed to the merger last year, but pulled out last week due to recent developments”, including a request from France’s Foreign Ministry to delay past the merger deadline.

Tiffany has accused LVMH of intentionally delaying regulatory processes in key markets and lodged a request to a court in Delaware, US, to expedite the court case over the proposed merger.

A hearing on Tiffany’s petition has been set for 21 September.

LVMH said: “There is no reason for this case to be judged urgently. Given the legal and financial issues at stake – in the context of a pandemic that obviously weighs on the ability of a European group to organize its defense in the United States – it seems to LVMH that sound justice requires that a reasonable time be granted to rule on the matter.”

Roger Farah, chairman of Tiffany & Co’s board, said: “If LVMH had any contractual basis supporting its position not to close, it would not need to hide behind an unenforceable advisory letter from a French government official that is legally irrelevant to the transaction and inconsistent with EU law. 

“Our Board and management hoped not to have to file the complaint, but preparation was prudent given the obvious delaying tactics LVMH has been employing for months.”

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