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Tiffany wins court approval to fast-track lawsuit against LVMH

By Huw Hughes


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US jewelry brand Tiffany & Co has won approval by the Delaware Chancery Court to have its lawsuit against french conglomerate LVMH fast-tracked.

The lawsuit was launched by the jeweler after LVMH said in September it was pulling out of its 16 billion dollar deal to acquire Tiffany. LVMH said its board had made the decision following “a succession of events which undermine the acquisition of Tiffany & Co,” notably US threats to slap tariffs on French products.

But Tiffany accused the luxury group of deliberately stalling the deal.

Shortly after, LVMH said it would counter-sue Tiffany, accusing it of “dishonesty”. LVMH said it was “surprised” by the lawsuit filed by Tiffany.

The court has now set January 5, 2021 to begin a four-day trial.

Chairman of the Tiffany board Roger Farah said in a statement: “We appreciate the court’s ruling today to expedite the process. Despite LVMH’s ongoing efforts to avoid paying the agreed-upon price for Tiffany, a trial on January 5, 2021 will hopefully lead to a ruling prior to the expiration of U.S. antitrust clearance on February 3, 2021 and enable us to protect our company and our shareholders.

“We will demonstrate to the Court that LVMH is in clear breach of its obligations under a valid and binding agreement and that their claim of a Material Adverse Effect is completely baseless. Tiffany has acted in good faith in full compliance with the Merger Agreement and will continue to do so.”

LVMH announced back in November that it would be buying Tiffany in its biggest acquisition to date.

In June, LVMH announced it was not planning to buy Tiffany shares on the open market. It followed reports that the French luxury giant was reconsidering the deal following industry-wide poor trading caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. The following week, however, Tiffany announced it received additional regulatory approval for its acquisition by LVMH.

LVMH reportedly considered renegotiating the terms of the deal based on the impact of Covid-19 but ultimately decided not to, according to sources familiar with the deal.

Photo credit: Tiffany & Co