Reuters reported Thursday that LVMH, the French group behind luxury labels such as Christian Dior, Fendi and Givenchy, has asked for access to confidential company information from Tiffany as part of the due diligence linked to its proposed takeover, which it confirmed late last month.
The access would allow LVMH to boost its bid by $10 a share, to $130 each, in a play that would value Tiffany at around $16 billion, the Reuters sources said.
Tiffany shares were marked 2.9% higher in early Thursday trading to change hands at $126.89 each. That move would extend Tiffany's one-month gain to around 44% and value the group at just over $15 billion
LVMH shares, meanwhile, were marked 1.16% lower in Paris and trading at €397.70. each, trimming their 2019 gain to around 52.5%.
Tiffany said in late October that it is "carefully reviewing the (LVMH) proposal, with the assistance of independent financial and legal advisors, to determine the course of action it believes is in the best interests of the Company and its shareholders", and urged investors to take no action.
Analysts have noted that more than half of Tiffany's sales come from outside the U.S., providing LVMH with both a doorway into the domestic luxury market while supporting the group's growth in key markets such as Europe and China.
"We believe that a potential acquisition of Tiffany by LVMH makes strong strategic logic," said KeyBank Capital analyst Edward Yruma, who expects to see a transaction between the two groups in the $125 to $130 per share range. "Continuing consolidation in luxury makes sense given the shift to e-comm, importance of the Chinese market (we believe one-third of sales, across all geographies) and likely synergies."