French luxury giant LVMH said Thursday it would counter-sue US jeweller Tiffany, accusing it of “dishonesty” as their plans for a sparkling tie-up descended into bitter recrimination.
“LVMH was surprised by the lawsuit filed by Tiffany,” the French owner of brands such as Louis Vuitton, Dior and Moet & Chandon said in a statement.
“LVMH considers that this action is totally unfounded. It has clearly been prepared by Tiffany a long time ago and communicated in a misleading way to shareholders and is defamatory. The long preparation of this assignment demonstrates the dishonesty of Tiffany in its relations with LVMH,” the statement said.
The French firm vowed to "defend itself vigorously" against Tiffany's accusation that it had failed to take steps to obtain the various regulatory approvals for the planned $16.2 billion acquisition in a timely manner. LVMH also said it had had the opportunity to examine Tiffany's current economic situation and its management of the crisis.
And it "noted that the first-half results and its perspectives for 2020 are very disappointing, and significantly inferior to those of comparable brands of the LVMH group during this period."
It would therefore challenge the handling of the crisis by Tiffany's management and its board of directors and "confirms that the necessary conditions for the conclusion of the acquisition of Tiffany are not fulfilled."
On Thursday, LVMH called off the acquisition and Tiffany responded by saying it would take legal action to push the deal through.
Photo credit: Louis Vuitton, Facebook