French luxury giant LVMH buys iconic American jeweler Tiffany for over $16 Billion

The world’s leading luxury group LVMH has agreed to buy a 182-year-old US jeweler Tiffany & Co. for $135 per share in cash. The $16.2 billion deal will become the largest luxury-goods deal ever.

“The acquisition of Tiffany will strengthen LVMH’s position in jewelry and further increase its presence in the United States,” LVMH said in a statement on Monday.

Paris-based LVMH has 75 brands, with 156,000 employees, and a network of more than 4,590 stores. Other brands include Louis Vuitton, Kenzo, Tag Heuer, Dom Pérignon, Moet & Chandon, Hennessy, Givenchy and Christian Dior.

The Chairman and CEO of LVMH, billionaire Bernard Arnault said: “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… 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.”

According to Alessandro Bogliolo, Chief Executive Officer of Tiffany, the “transaction, which occurs at a time of internal transformation for our legendary brand, will provide further support, resources and momentum for those priorities as we evolve towards becoming The Next Generation Luxury Jeweler.” As part of the LVMH group, “Tiffany will reach new heights, capitalizing on its remarkable internal expertise, unparalleled craftsmanship and strong cultural values,” he said.

The iconic New York jeweler Tiffany has been suffering falling sales, hit by lower spending by tourists and a strong US dollar.

Founded in 1837, when Charles Lewis Tiffany opened the first store in downtown Manhattan, Tiffany has been synonymous with elegance, innovative design, fine craftsmanship and creative excellence. The Tiffany Blue Box is recognized worldwide as an icon of refinement and desirability.

The company has become globally famous after being featured in the 1961 Audrey Hepburn film Breakfast at Tiffany’s.