“Like A Sudden Thunderbolt”: Tiffany Tumbles As LVMH Walks Away From $16 Billion Deal

It’s a shame: Even the blessing of a legion of consolidation-obsessed Wall Street analysts, and the direct financial backing of the ECB – which came to the rescue of Bernard Arnault, the LVMH boss and France’s richest man, during the great fiscal unraveling back in February – wasn’t enough to make the Tiffany deal go.

Bloomberg reported Wednesday morning that the deal between the two luxury businesses simply wouldn’t happen. One analyst described the news as a “thunderbolt from the blue” as a handful of lonely skeptics have once again been justified.

“This is a like a sudden thunderbolt in a blue sky,” Bernstein analyst Luca Solca writes by email. “I wonder if this is move is a definitive decision or only a prelude to a renegotiation of some sort”

Tiffany shares slump 15% on news that the $16 billion merger wouldn’t happen. LVMH dropped 0.5%, erasing earlier gains in Paris. Though the consolidation narrative is certainly a powerful one, this isn’t exactly the first time we’ve heard of trouble in luxury paradise.

Meanwhile, in a world where hedge funds are badly underperforming not only the S&P500 but retail investors too, here is the latest set of losers: the merger arbs and other investors who were long TIF in hopes of collecting pennies in front of a steamroller. Well… the steamroller just arrived.

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