LVMH says in preliminary takeover talks with jewellers Tiffany

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Paris (AFP)

French luxury giant LVMH said on Monday it was in preliminary talks to take over US jewellers Tiffany but there was "no certainty" that they would be successful.

A source close to the talks told AFP at the weekend that LVMH had made a bid for Tiffany at the start of October, but that the iconic US company had yet to respond to the offer.

According to another source, LVMH offered $14.5 billion for Tiffany, whose stock market value stood at $11.9 billion at the close of Wall Street trading on Friday.

"Following recent market rumours, the LVMH group confirms having started prelimary discussions about a possible operation with Tiffany," LVMH said in its statement Monday.

The purchase of Tiffany by LVMH would be one of the largest acquisitions by the French group, which is a world leader in luxury, present in fashion to wine, perfumes and cosmetics.

The discussions between the two companies come after LVMH owner billionaire Bernard Arnault inaugurated a Louis Vuitton factory in south Texas alongside US President Donald Trump and his daughter Ivanka.

If the purchase goes through, it would strengthen the company's position in the jewellery sector.

Tiffany's Bulgari brand -- bought for $5.2 billion in 2011 -- competes with Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels, both owned by Swiss group Richemont.