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TIMELINE-LVMH calls off $16 bln Tiffany takeover

Sept 9 (Reuters) - French luxury goods giant LVMH on Wednesday decided to walk away from its planned $16 billion takeover of U.S. jeweler Tiffany, throwing into jeopardy what would have been the biggest-ever deal in the global luxury industry.

Tiffany countered with a lawsuit accusing LVMH of deliberately stalling the completion of the takeover.

The following is a timeline on the takeover saga:

SEPT. 9, 2020

LVMH decides to walk away from the multi-billion-dollar deal. Tiffany, just hours later, says it is suing LVMH and seeking a court order requiring the French group to abide by its contractual obligation under the deal to complete the transaction on the agreed terms.

AUG. 31, 2020

France's Secretary of State writes to LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault saying the company should delay the deal until Jan. 6, 2021 to take part in the "country's efforts to defend its national interests" amid a U.S.-European Union tariff war. (bit.ly/2Rc9F7L)

AUG. 27, 2020

Tiffany reports a stronger-than-expected quarterly profit and signals an uptick in sales due to a recovery in China and online demand.

AUG. 24, 2020

The companies give themselves another three months to complete the tie-up after the deal did not close on Aug. 24, the date set out in deal documents, according to a source familiar with the discussions.

JULY 27, 2020

Arnault, in an interview, acknowledges Tiffany’s quarterly results have been hit by the coronavirus crisis, but says LVMH will respect the acquisition contract signed by the company.

JUNE 16, 2020

South Korea’s fair trade commission formally approves the merger.

JUNE 9, 2020

Tiffany amends some of its debt terms to give itself financial breathing space, as it seeks to ensure the sale to LVMH is completed.

The U.S. luxury jeweler also says it received antitrust clearances from Mexican and Russian authorities.

JUNE 5, 2020

LVMH will not ask to renegotiate the acquisition after deliberating whether to do so, sources familiar with the deal say.

JUNE 3, 2020

LVMH CEO Arnault explores ways to reopen negotiations on the deal, as U.S. social unrest and the coronavirus pandemic weigh on the retail sector, according to people familiar with the matter.

JUNE 2, 2020

LVMH’s board calls a meeting in Paris to discuss the deal, fashion trade publication WWD reports, citing sources.

APRIL 8, 2020

Australian regulators seek more time to review the takeover due to the COVID-19 outbreak, an early indication of delays in closure of the deal.

MARCH 23, 2020

LVMH says it will not buy Tiffany shares on the open market, a move that would have potentially enabled it to pursue its agreement to buy the U.S. jeweler at a lower price than the one agreed.

MARCH 17, 2020

Tiffany announces temporary closure of several stores, including its Fifth Avenue flagship store in New York, and reduces working hours at other outlets, in an effort to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.

FEB. 5, 2020

LVMH is set to raise a larger-than-expected 9.3 billion euros ($10.2 billion) from bond markets to help finance the deal.

NOV. 25, 2019

LVMH formally announces agreement to buy Tiffany for $16.2 billion in its biggest acquisition yet. The $135-per-share cash offer is backed by Tiffany’s board.

NOV. 24, 2019

LVMH is close to buying Tiffany for about $16.3 billion after sweetening its offer, sources said.

NOV. 20, 2019

Tiffany agrees to provide LVMH access to its books, after the latter sweetened its bid to close to $130 per share, sources said.

NOV. 6, 2019

Tiffany asks LVMH to raise its $14.5 billion acquisition offer, arguing that it significantly undervalues the U.S. company, people familiar with the matter said.

OCT. 27, 2019

Louis Vuitton owner approaches Tiffany with a $14.5 billion acquisition offer, or at about $120 per share, sources said. (Reporting by Nivedita Balu in Bengaluru; Editing by Sweta Singh and Sriraj Kalluvila)

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