Paris-based LVMH "has held preliminary discussions'' to acquire Tiffany & Co.
The parent company of Louis Vuitton, Moët Hennessy and other luxury brands offered about $14.5 billion for the U.S. jeweler, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
In a statement, LVMH confirmed that talks had begun but added that "there can be no assurance that these discussions will result in any agreement.''
If the transaction is completed, it will be LVMH's largest purchase ever, surpassing its $7 billion deal to gain complete control of Christian Dior in 2017, and could be among the biggest deals by a European company in 2019, Bloomberg said.
The all-cash bid values Tiffany at about $120 a share, about 22% more than the company's closing price on Friday, persons told Bloomberg. Tiffany & Co. has a market value of about $11.9 billion.
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LVMH, which has been looking for ways to expand its U.S. presence, made a preliminary, nonbinding offer to Tiffany earlier this month, Reuters reported.
Tiffany & Co. this month launched a new line of men's jewelry – part of its strategy to attract younger shoppers and stoke sales, which have been dampened by a decline in spending by tourists from China and elsewhere.
The jeweler's global sales for the first half of 2019 declined 3% to $2.1 billion, Tiffany & Co. announced in August. Among the factors: increased tariffs on its items shipped and sold in China.
Tiffany & Co. declined comment to USA TODAY on the report.
Follow USA TODAY reporter Mike Snider on Twitter: @MikeSnider.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Louis Vuitton maker LVMH reportedly makes Tiffany & Co. takeover bid