Tiffany inks new 20-year deal with Elsa Peretti

Tiffany signs new 20-year deal with jewelry designer Elsa Peretti

Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) -- Tiffany & Co. has signed a contract that extends its long-standing exclusive license to sell jewelry and other items under Italian jewelry designer Elsa Peretti's name for another 20 years.

Tiffany has been the only licensee for Elsa Peretti designs since 1974. Tiffany will make a one-time payment of $47 million to Peretti as part of the new contract. Peretti will also get royalties and fees related to the licensed jewelry.

Elsa Peretti jewelry accounts for about 10 percent of Tiffany's sales, according to Jefferies analyst Randal Konik.

He said the agreement is a big positive for the New York jewelry chain, because it removes potential uncertainty that the company might lose the exclusive license. The new 20-year deal is also more stable than past terms, which only required six month's notice for the agreement to end. The new agreement will terminate only after 20 years, or if Tiffany changes ownership or due to a material breach by Tiffany or Peretti.

In late November, Tiffany said its third-quarter net income fell 30 percent, stung by a higher-than-expected tax rate, ongoing economic weakness and high precious metal and diamond costs. Revenue increased 4 percent to $852.7 million.

Shares rose $1.79, or 3.1 percent, to $59.13 in midday trading. The stock it trading in the middle of its 52-week range of $49.72 to $74.20.

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