Earlier this year, the luxury goods conglomerate shot down the suggestion it was trying to do an end run around the $135 per share, or $16.2 billion, price tag it negotiated last year by buying the high-end jeweler's stock on the open market. It maintained, "LVMH is currently committed not to buy Tiffany shares."
Acquiring the stock that way would have significantly lowered the cost of the deal as Tiffany's stock plunged about 20% or so to around $105 a share when the COVID-19 outbreak was declared a pandemic.
Losing its luster
Tiffany's shares recovered most of that lost ground after the fashion house reiterated its commitment, but now LVMH's board of directors does look like it wants to renegotiate the purchase price. LVMH issued a statement saying the board met on June 2 to discuss the pandemic's "potential impact on the results and perspectives of Tiffany & Co with respect to the agreement that links the two groups."
Tiffany is scheduled to report earnings on June 9 after having pushed them back from this coming Friday, and its likely the high-end retailer's results will not be pretty.
While LVMH says it's still not buying Tiffany stock on the open market, at least not "on this occasion," industry site WWD has said the jeweler might not be able to cover all of its debt covenants at the closure of the deal, which may provide a wedge for renegotiation of the purchase price as it would amount to a "material adverse change" to its business.
Tiffany's stock plunged anew on the news, closing at $114 per share.