Is Tiffany about to be French-owned?

Tiffany & Co., the ultimate American luxury brand that was made forever famous when Audrey Hepburn nibbled on a croissant before its store window, might shortly become a French possession. 

 

Perhaps that croissant was more of an omen than a prop in the 1961 romantic comedy “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” ... after all. And today, the US risks losing one of its most valuable luxury jewels of all. 

 

Media reports over the weekend said that French luxury conglomerate LVMH, which already owns Bulgari, is deep in talks with the New York City-based jeweler. 

 

According to analysts at Bernstein, this takeover could make a lot of sense.

“This is one of the most prominent jewelry brands in the world (only four sizeable brands exist in branded jewelry),” the Bernstein analysts stated. “It would offer a European conglomerate a more balanced exposure to the USA (better FX, lower risk of tariffs, etc.).”

Tiffany & Co. was founded in 1837 by the jeweler Charles Lewis Tiffany and became famous in the early 1900s, under the management of his son Louis Comfort Tiffany, for their precious stones, exquisite engagement rings, and fine china fit for presidents and queens. 

Between the late 80s and early 90s, a series of takeovers and US recession tarnished the brand’s luster and the company was forced to render its jewels more affordable for a wider public. Some engagement rings in the 1990s at one point retailed for under $1000, while silver pendants and bracelets became popular must-have status items among high schoolers and college students. 

A string of refresh attempts and top management musical chairs led to the hiring of former Bulgari CEO, Alessandro Bogliolo in 2017. 

“LVMH is looking to sharpen its focus on the U.S., the company’s second-largest region by revenue behind Asia. Earlier this month, it opened a new Louis Vuitton factory in Texas in a ceremony that included President Donald Trump and his daughter Ivanka,” according to a Bloomberg article.

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