War of words escalates as LVMH countersues Tiffany to nix their deal

October 01, 2020

The merger between two big luxury names was once touted by them and many analysts as good for both, but has devolved into a cross-Atlantic legal battle, with over-the-top rhetorical flourishes and even a little governmental intrigue.

So far, Tiffany has wielded a number of “multifaceted” arguments and appears to be on fairly solid ground, according to Alon Kapen, a partner at law firm Farrell Fritz. By contrast, a few months after reiterating its intention to buy Tiffany, LVMH appears to be scrambling to find ways to back out, said Kapen, who has reviewed Tiffany’s previous court documents, though not anything filed this week beyond the companies’ dueling press releases.

Tiffany has an answer for each in turn. The letter from the French government, cited by LVMH as an impediment to close the deal, is purported to have been solicited by LVMH itself according to the government minister who wrote it — something that Tiffany pointed out in its press release on Tuesday.

“Despite Tiffany’s many requests, LVMH still has not provided Tiffany or the Court with a copy of the letter,” Tiffany also said. “LVMH’s seeking this letter was a clear violation of its obligations under the Merger Agreement, and Tiffany anticipates that more of LVMH’s duplicity will come to light during the trial.”

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