French luxury group LVMH is buying U.S. jeweler Tiffany & Co. for $16.2 billion, or $135 per share in cash, the company announced Monday.
"This transaction, which occurs at a time of internal transformation for our legendary brand, will provide further support, resources and momentum for those priorities as we evolve towards becoming The Next Generation Luxury Jeweler," Tiffany CEO Alessandro Bogliolo said in a statement.
The acquisition of Tiffany will boost LVMH's position in the jewelry market and strengthen its presence in the U.S., the French company said. It will also "transform" LVMH's watches and jewelry division and "complement LVMH’s 75 distinguished Houses."
“Following a strategic review that included a thoughtful internal process and expert external advice, the Board has concluded that this transaction with LVMH provides an exciting path forward with a group that appreciates and will invest in Tiffany's unique assets and strong human capital, while delivering a compelling price with value certainty to our shareholders," Roger Farah, chairman of Tiffany's board, said in a statement.
The transaction is expected to close in the middle of 2020 and is subject to approval from Tiffany's shareholders and regulators.
LVMH owns iconic brands including Louis Vuitton, Givenchy and Celine. Its chairman, Bernard Arnault, joined Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and Microsoft founder Bill Gates as the only people in the world worth more than $100 billion in June.