French Wolf in cashmere tears in Tiffany after the deal

Bernard Arnault has proved once again that he misses a good fight.

France’s wealthiest man tries to pull out of a high-profile transaction this week LVMH, the luxury group he controls, announced that it was planning to purchase a US jeweler The collapse of the largest takeover in the Tiffany & Co. industry became increasingly ugly, with Tiffany accusing LVMH of being a “faux hand” and the French side calling for the US company to run poorly.

Adding to the drama, Arnault did not walk away with a $ 16 billion prize. Having received help from the French government – which the company essentially calls for a postponement of the deal – Arnault underscored its reach to the highest political constituencies. The move showed his desire to surprise Vasant to get the opponents on their way.

Photographer: Marlene Awaad

But Arnault seems to have made up his mind about Tiffany largely alone, an unusual step in the takeover with expensive lawyers and consultants. According to people familiar with the situation, the 71-year-old cut some of his close associates in the deal.

The account is based on interviews with people close to the LVMH and Tiffany Accords, who spoke on condition of anonymity over private deliberations. LVMH and Tiffany declined to comment for this story.

Small team

Other than Arnault, only a small group of executives, including chief financial officer Jean-Jacques Gioni and managing director Antonio Belloni, were part of the inner circle to move down a path, one of the people said. In contrast, most external consultants avoided speculating what the next step might be, others said.

Tiffany Dust-Up is the epitome of Arnault’s luxurious management style, renowned by the world’s largest luxury conglomerate to date, ranging from Champaran to Dior Haute Couture to strong removacas and luxury hotels. In that bouquet of high-end brands, Arnault wanted to inject Tiffany, giving her a recognizable name in the still-shattered jewelry market and a large footprint in North America.

LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE CEO Bernard Arnault Presenting Income

Photographer: Christophe Morin / Bloomberg

It all started amicably in November when the deal was announced. Arnault spoke of Tiffany as an American icon and a symbol brand. The approach comes just weeks after the billionaire flew to Texas to join President Donald Trump at the inauguration of the Louis Vuitton factory.

For Tiffany, joining the Arnault family promised access to a powerful branding machine, which has helped grow small or family businesses such as Bulgari or Loro Piana. Shoppers from Beijing to London pampered themselves with expensive items to smooth the Buoyant luxury sale for the deal.

big chest

But first the boom and then mutual appreciation was frozen. Within weeks, the global economy and the luxury-goods industry in particular, were transformed by the worldwide coronovirus epidemic. China closed, high-rolling shoppers stayed home and boutiques around the world closed. Spending on diamonds, handbags and furs brought a virtual halt.

By the end of March, with a lot of lockdowns entering Europe, LVMH began to have second thoughts about the price it was willing to pay for Tiffany. Bloomberg News reported that it considered buying in the stock market for under $ 135. In the end, LVMH trusted, but there were no indications that all was not well in the LVMH-Tiffany marriage.