Holding LVMH Moet Hennessy-Louis Vuitton (LVMH) reported that on Monday, September 28, filed a counterclaim against Tiffany in a Delaware court over a failed merger agreement between the two companies.
The French holding and the American jewelry house agreed to merge in November 2019. The parties signed the agreement under which LVMH had to pay $ 16.2 billion for Tiffany. However, in September this year, the French side refused to terminate the agreement, explaining its decision by “a complex set of the circumstances.”
Then the company brought, but only two of them – the request from the French Foreign Ministry to postpone the agreement until January 2021 due to the possible introduction of import duties on French luxury goods by the US authorities, and the request from Tiffany herself to postpone the agreement from November 24 to December 31, 2020.
Tiffany found LVMH’s arguments unconvincing. The American jewelry house filed the lawsuit in the court of Delaware state on the same day, September 10. The company insists that the request of the French Foreign Ministry has no legal force, therefore to refuse the agreement on this basis is illegal. In addition, Tiffany accuses LVMH of deliberately delaying the process of obtaining the necessary documentation and obtaining the permission of antitrust authorities to force the American company to review the terms of the agreement. Through the court, Tiffany seeks enforcement of the agreements on the agreement in up to 24 November.
At the same time, on September 10, LVMH promised to file the counterclaim in the Delaware court, which was done on Monday, September 28. The French holding company still insists that the request of the French Foreign Ministry made the completion of the agreement impossible. However, contrary to Tiffany’s opinion, the company did everything possible to obtain regulatory approval in time: eight out of ten permits had already been obtained, and two more were to be received from the European Commission and the Taiwanese authorities before the deadline for closing the agreement. Herewith, the French holding company accused Tiffany of ineffective management and breach of its obligations “to conduct business as usual and to keep its commercial organizations largely intact”, and also noted that the agreement between the companies does not specify the COVID-19 pandemic as the significant negative factor.
While the lawsuit is being conducted by the American company: The U.S. court granted Tiffany’s request to expedite (4 days) LVMH’s lawsuit, while the defendant suggested considering the matter in the usual manner, which could take several months.
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