• 2009-06-06

    Tiffany and related assets


    Tiffany management has agreed to acquire Tiffany & co. from Avon Products, Inc., for $135.5 million. Under the new ownership, Tiffany will return to the status of a private company, as it has been for most of its 147 years. The investment group includes broad participation by Tiffany management, which will be joined by a group of private and institutional investors. Tiffany sales last year were $125 million. "Our goal is to guide Tiffany & Co. into a new era with an unswerving commitment to our traditional standards of excellence in quality, design and service," said William R. Chaney, who will continue as chairman and chief executive officer of Tiffany & co. "We will continue to offer the very finest and most enduring selections of merchandise," Chaney said. "We will be distinguished by the service we offer our valued customers." Avon expects to consummate the sale of Tiffany and related assets by the middle of October. In addition to tiffanys store at Fifth Avenue and 57th Street, a New York landmark, it has stores in Beverly Hills, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Kansas City and Chicago. It will open a store in Boston next month. It also operates major production and distribution facilities at Newark and Parsippany, N.J. Founded in 1837, Tiffany is world famous for its collection of fine jewelry, sterling silverware, timepieces, china, crystal, stationery and gifts. It offers exclusive collections by the renowned jewelry designers Jean Schlumberger, Elsa Peretti and Paloma Picasso. The new ownership group for the transaction is represented by Lehman Brothers of New York. INVESTCORP, an international investment banking firm based in Bahrain and London, will participate in underwriting and placing the investment internationally, while Lehman Brothers will work with tiffany jewelery management and INVESTCORP in the U.S. placements. Tiffanys management is expected to be the single largest investor in the firm. A minority interest will be placed with international investors. "The sale of Tiffany is a bittersweet thing," said Hicks B. Waldron, chairman and chief executive officer of Avon Products, Inc. "It will be good for Tiffany and Avon shareholders, but we will miss our association with this great institution. CONTACT -- William R. Chaney, chairman and chief executive officer of Tiffany, at 212-605-4423; Bill Berry at 212-605-4520 for Tiffany; or John Cox at 212-546-8471 for Avon Products