LVMH the company behind luxury brands Dior, Vuitton eyes $14.5bn Tiffany takeover
The company behind Louis Vuitton approached Tiffany over a possible takeover - with its offer valuing the jeweller at $14.5bn.
Shares in Tiffany gained 31% after LVMH, the world's biggest luxury group, confirmed that it had "held preliminary discussions regarding a possible transaction" with the firm.
LVMH, is owned by France's richest man, Bernard Arnault, has brands including Christian Dior, Givenchy, and Bulgari.
Tiffany - made famous by the 1961 film Breakfast at Tiffany's starring Audrey Hepburn - confirmed it had received an "unsolicited, non-binding proposal" from LVMH to acquire it for $120 per share in cash. It comes eight years after LVMH bought Italian jeweller Bulgari for (£3.2bn) 2011. Tiffany - founded in 1837 - has been struggling with stagnating sales as China's economic woes have weighed on spending by Chinese tourists, who make up a large proportion of luxury goods shoppers.
LVMH has 75 brands, 156,000 employees and a network of more than 4,590 stores. Tiffany employs more than 14,000 people and operates about 300 stores.
News of LVMH's offer sent Tiffany's share price surging more than 30% to about $130 at the start of trading on Wall Street. A $14.5bn offer is worth about $120 a share, but analysts said LVMH could afford to go higher, and Credit Suisse estimated that Tiffany was worth about $140 a share.