PARIS, France — LVMH said on Thursday it did not plan to buy shares in Tiffany on the market, which would be one way for the French luxury goods group to buy the US jeweller for less than the $16.2 billion agreed in last year's acquisition deal.
LVMH, the owner of Louis Vuitton, secured an agreement to purchase Tiffany in November but has not closed the deal.
Sources have said LVMH Chief Executive Bernard Arnault wanted to renegotiate the purchase, after the retail business was hit hard by the coronavirus crisis and US social unrest.
The Paris-based company said its board had meet this week, ahead of the U.S. firm's quarterly results due out on June 5.
LVMH said the board meeting on Tuesday "notably focused its attention on the development of the pandemic and its potential impact on the results and perspectives of Tiffany & Co with respect to the agreement that links the two groups."
"Considering the recent market rumours, LVMH confirms, on this occasion, that it is not considering buying Tiffany shares on the market," it said, without giving further details.
Buying the shares on the market would be one way of buying the jeweller at a lower price.
Arnault, France's richest man, talked to advisers this week to identify ways to push Tiffany to lower the agreed deal price of $135 per share, people familiar with the matter told Reuters.
Tiffany shares closed at $114 on Wednesday.
It was not clear what strategy LVMH might pursue to secure a price cut, the sources said, but one way into a renegotiation would be if Tiffany breached its financial covenants under the deal. LVMH has not asked Tiffany to reopen talks.
By Sudip Kar-Gupta and Sarah White; editor: Edmund Blair.