The luxury giant LVMH will take American justice against the jeweler Tiffany, whom he accuses of “bad faith” and of which he points to “the poor financial results”, the day after the suspension of their record merger operation at 16.2 billions of dollars.
On Wednesday, Bernard Arnault’s group had estimated that it was “no longer able” to buy “the jeweler” as it is, highlighting “a succession of events likely to weaken the acquisition operation of the Tiffany Company “.
LVMH notably mentioned a letter from the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Jean-Yves Le Drian, who, in reaction to the threat of taxes on French products formulated by the United States, asked the group to defer the acquisition of Tiffany beyond January 6, 2021.
For his part, Tiffany announced Wednesday that he was suing the world number one in luxury in the United States, accusing him, among other things, of having dragged out regulatory proceedings.
Thursday, LVMH expresses its “astonishment” at the lawsuit of Tiffany, which it judges in a press release “completely unfounded. It is obviously long prepared by Tiffany and was communicated in a manner misleading for the shareholders and defamatory “.
“The long preparation of this summons shows Tiffany’s bad faith in its relations with LVMH. The essence of this action is based on the criticisms made by Tiffany against LVMH for not having acted diligently to obtain the administrative authorizations relating to the antitrust rules around the world. This accusation has no substance and LVMH will demonstrate it in Delaware civil court, “he emphasizes.
The luxury giant claims that “the notification in Brussels will take place, as planned, in the coming days and this date is simply the result of the schedule set with the European Commission itself, which Tiffany knows perfectly well. And it is legitimate to think that its authorization will be obtained in October “.
In addition, the group indicates that its board of directors “found that the results (of Tiffany) of the first half and its outlook for the year 2020 are poor, and significantly lower than those of the comparable brands of the LVMH group during the period. “.
Bernard Arnault’s group indicates that it will “therefore be called upon to question the management of the crisis by the management of Tiffany and its board of directors”.
“LVMH considers, among other things, that this period is affected by a situation of force majeure, that Tiffany did not follow a normal management framework, in particular by distributing substantial dividends when the company was in loss and that the operations and the organization of this company have not been preserved “.
In conclusion, LVMH “therefore confirms that the conditions necessary for the completion of the Tiffany acquisition are not met”.