Arnault said at the time Tiffany & Co. would “thrive for centuries to come” under LVMH, as reported by CNBC.
Arnault has been in talks with his advisors this week to identify ways to pressure Tiffany & Co. to lower the agreed deal price of $135 per share, the sources said. He is considering whether he can argue that the New York-based company is in breach of its obligations under the merger agreement, they said.
LVMH has not yet settled on a strategy to pursue a deal price cut and has not asked Tiffany & Co. to reopen negotiations, according to the sources. It is not clear whether it will do so, and what arguments it could pursue.
Tiffany & Co. does not believe there is a legal basis to renegotiate the deal, the sources said. The company is in compliance with financial covenants under the merger agreement with LVMH, and expects to remain so after declaring a quarterly dividend two weeks ago, the sources said.
The sources asked not to be identified because the deliberations, first reported on Tuesday by fashion trade publication WWD, are confidential.
LVMH and Tiffany & Co. did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
While Arnault now has concerns about overpaying for Tiffany & Co., he still believes in the deal’s strategic rationale, according to the sources. Tiffany & Co. will give LVMH a bigger share of the lucrative U.S. market and expand its offerings in jewellery, the fastest-growing sector in the luxury goods industry.
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Were Tiffany & Co. to rebuff LVMH’s bid to reopen the deal, their dispute could end up in Delaware court, the sources said. An acrimonious end to the deal would make it more difficult for LVMH to make another attempt at acquiring Tiffany & Co. in the future, they said.