USA jeweller Tiffany & Co. has filed a lawsuit against luxury goods conglomerate LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton for abandoning its planned $16 billion takeover deal.
LVMH has actually argued it can't complete its acquisition of Tiffany after the French federal government asked for a delay on sealing the deal.
LVMH also reiterated its disappointment in Tiffany's management during the coronavirus crisis, which has put a strong dent in luxury sales and consumer appetite, and vowed to challenge it and its board of directors on this failing. It said the jeweller's first half results and performance for 2020 "are very disappointing and significantly inferior to those of comparable brands of the LVMH Group during this period".
The news comes a day after LVMH announced it would be ditching its $16.2 billion acquisition of Tiffany, a deal that would have been the biggest ever in the high-end market.
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Led by chairman Bernard Arnault, France's wealthiest man, LVMH also defended itself against Tiffany's accusations that it used delaying tactics, notably with competition authorities in Europe, in seeking the deal's approval. Shares are down about 14% year-to-date, bringing its market value to $13.8 billion.
Tiffany's riposte was to accuse LVMH of breaching "obligations relating to obtaining antitrust clearance" for the deal.
"He'll get questioned: Did you go to the Ministry of Finance?" a source close to the escalating legal battle told The Post.
The truth: LVMH is attempting to squash the acquisition on the orders of the French government as part of its trade war with the US.
"'This accusation has no substance and LVMH will demonstrate this to the Delaware Court", the luxury giant said, adding that it will file for an approval with the EU Commission in "the following days", and expects this authorisation to be granted next month.