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France's LVMH nears deal to buy U.S. jewelry chain Tiffany for about $16.3 billion - sources

By Greg Roumeliotis
A Tiffany & Co. logo is seen outside a store in Paris

By Greg Roumeliotis

(Reuters) - French luxury group LVMH is nearing a deal to buy U.S. jewelry chain Tiffany & Co for about $16.3 billion, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters on Sunday.

Bulgari owner LVMH is nearing a deal to acquire Tiffany for $135 per share, the sources said, adding that a deal could be announced either on Sunday or Monday.

Reuters reported this week that LVMH had persuaded Tiffany to provide it with confidential due diligence after it raised its bid to close to $16 billion.

Tiffany earlier this month rebuffed LVMH's initial $120-per-share all-cash offer, arguing it significantly undervalued the company.

Tiffany, founded in New York in 1837 and featured in the 1961 movie "Breakfast at Tiffany's" starring Audrey Hepburn, had struggled with falling annual sales and profit since 2015, before a revenue turnaround in 2017.

Jewelry was one of the strongest performing areas of the luxury industry in 2018, according to consultancy Bain & Co, which forecast that comparable sales in the $20 billion global market were set to grow 7% this year.

Under Chief Executive Alessandro Bogliolo, former head of fashion firm Diesel and a Bulgari alumnus, Tiffany has been building up its e-commerce business and is trying to court younger shoppers with more affordable pendants, earrings and new designs.

The news was first reported by the Financial Times. Both companies did not immediately respond to requests for comment.


(Reporting by Philip George in Bengaluru and Greg Roumeliotis in New York; Editing by Will Dunham)