France’s LVMH confirms it wants to buy jeweler Tiffany

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PARIS (AP) – French luxury group LVMH said Monday it has held preliminary discussions to purchase U.S. jeweler Tiffany & Co.

The purchase would add another household name to LVMH’s plethora of upscale brands. It owns fashion names such as Christian Dior, Fendi, and Givenchy as well as watchmaker Tag Heuer.

It would also give LVMH a much broader foothold in the United States and broaden its offerings in jewelry.

LVMH cautioned in a brief statement that “there can be no assurance that these discussions will result in any agreement.” It has offered $120 a share, or about $14.5 billion, for Tiffany, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The offer comes as Tiffany has struggled with stagnating sales as China’s slowing economy has weighed on spending by Chinese tourists, who make up a substantial portion of luxury spending. The strong dollar has also made Tiffany products more expensive for consumers outside the U.S.

LVMH competes with the Kering Group, which owns Gucci and Saint Laurent, and Richemont SA, which owns Cartier.

Representatives of Tiffany have declined to comment on the report.

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