Takeover of Tiffany by LVMH: the luxury giant finalizes the operation and reshuffles the management

The takeover of Tiffany by the world number one in French luxury LVMH was finalized for an amount of 15.8 billion dollars, a record transaction in the luxury industry, and LVMH announced, Thursday, January 7, a reshuffle of the management of the American jeweler. Boss Alessandro Bogliolo will be replaced by Anthony Ledru, the two companies said in a joint statement. Alessandro Bogliolo will be leaving Tiffany on January 22.

Anthony Ledru was until then Deputy Managing Director in charge of global commercial activities at Louis Vuitton, the flagship brand of LVMH. He had already been one of the directors of Tiffany for North America, from 2013 to 2014. Alexandre Arnault, son of the CEO of LVMH Bernard Arnault and who until now worked for the trunk maker Rimowa, of which he had taken the reins at the start of 2017 after having launched and then managed the acquisition by LVMH, became the executive director, products and communications of the famous New York jeweler, immortalized in the film Breakfast at Tiffany’s with Audrey Hepburn.

In addition to Alessandro Bogliolo, Artistic Director Reed Krakoff and Deputy General Manager, Products and Marketing Daniella Vitale will also be leaving Tiffany, “after a short transition period“.”We are confident in Tiffany’s ability to accelerate its growth, innovate and remain the most desirable jewelry brand.“Said Bernard Arnault, quoted in the press release, thanking Alessandro Bogliolo and his team for”their work over the past three years, especially during the difficult times the world is going through“.

I am happy to return to Tiffany, the most iconic American luxury brand, which I have admired for so long.“, rejoiced Anthony Ledru. Alessandro Bogliolo, him, underlined his pride of work”accomplished together over the past three years“, saying”convinced that Tiffany will shine under the leadership of LVMH“Thursday, January 7, on the Paris Stock Exchange, the LVMH share rose 2.59%, reaching 515.30 euros at the close, in a market up 0.7%.

On December 30, the shareholders of Tiffany had given their approval to the proposed union with LVMH, a giant with some 70 houses including Louis Vuitton, Dior, Céline, Bulgari, Hennessy, Dom Perignon … The engagement had been announced in November 2019 , in a buoyant economic context, before being broken up in September 2020 in the midst of a pandemic.

The economic crisis has cost Tiffany dear, with a loss of $ 65 million in February-March-April 2020, but the group had nonetheless distributed substantial dividends to its shareholders. In September 2020, LVMH announced that it was “more able ” to redeem “as is“the American jeweler, speaking of a”succession of events likely to weaken the operation“. He referred to Tiffany’s mismanagement during a pandemic and a request from the French government to postpone the acquisition, in the midst of a trade dispute between the United States and the European Union.

Tiffany and LVMH then clashed in the legal field in the United States, the first accusing LVMH of having dragged out regulatory proceedings, the second responding to the same American court. Appointment had been set for January 5, 2021 for a trial. But, at the end of October 2020, the two groups agreed on a price revised down to $ 131.50 per share against $ 135 originally, a saving of $ 425 million, and the lawsuits were dropped.

On January 5, Tiffany announced sales “record“for the end-of-year holiday period (from November 1 to December 31, 2020), up 2% compared to the previous year. The company was driven by a boom in internet sales (+80 %) and in the Asia-Pacific region (+ 20%).

LVMH, thanks to the jump in Fashion and Leather Goods sales and the dynamism of Asia, had limited erosion in Q3 2020 and exceeded expectations by reaching sales of 11.955 billion euros between July and September 2020 (-7% organic data). Tiffany will be withdrawn from the New York Stock Exchange, but LVMH has not yet said how it intends to transform the American jeweler, which has suffered in recent years from competition from jewelers more prized by “millennials” (17-34 years old). ).

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