The luxury brand giant behind Louis Vuitton is to buy the jewellery powerhouse Tiffany in a deal worth $16.2bn (£12.6bn).
The agreed takeover offer by LVMH of $135 (£105) a share for the company – made famous by the 1961 film Breakfast at Tiffany’s starring Audrey Hepburn – is far higher than the initial proposal of $120 (£93) made last month.
The move adds the US-based firm to a stable of high-end brands, including Christian Dior, Givenchy and Moet & Chandon.
It comes eight years after LVMH – controlled by French billionaire and Europe’s richest man Bernard Arnault – bought Italian jeweller Bulgari for €3.7bn (£3.2bn) 2011.
“The acquisition of Tiffany will strengthen LVMH’s position in jewellery and further increase its presence in the United States,” the companies said in a joint statement.
Tiffany boss Alessandro Bogliolo said the transaction would “provide further support, resources and momentum”.
The companies said they expected to close the deal in mid-2020, subject to the approval of regulators and shareholders.
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Founded in New York in 1837, the brand is one of the best-known names in the sector, but has been struggling with stagnating sales as China’s economic woes have weighed on spending by Chinese tourists, who make up a large proportion of luxury goods shoppers.
The strong dollar has also made Tiffany goods more expensive for consumers outside the US.