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+0.88 (+0.73%)
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Previous close120.38
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Day's range121.26 - 121.26
52-week range72.41 - 122.50
Avg. volume27
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  • Luxury’s Dependence on China Gets Tested

    Luxury’s Dependence on China Gets Tested

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- For a while there, the major luxury companies appeared to be impervious to hard times in Asia. Even as prolonged unrest in Hong Kong hurt sales, and trade talks between the U.S. and China ground on, their stocks kept climbing. That changed this week as fears grow about the spread of a deadly virus in China.With the death toll reaching 25 on Friday, and China restricting travel for 40 million people on the eve of Lunar New Year, the question of what it all means for demand for high-end watches and handbags is obviously of minor concern. Yet it’s an unwanted reminder of just how dependent the industry is on Chinese consumers. Shoppers from the world’s most populous nation, be they in Shanghai, Singapore or San Francisco, probably accounted for about 35% of global luxury goods sales last year, according to Bain & Co. and Altagamma. What’s more, they generated the lion’s share — 90% — of all growth. There’s no reason to think they won’t be just as crucial to the sector’s performance this year too. One analyst, Flavio Cereda at Jefferies, says he expects the bulk of his estimated 5% sales growth (excluding currency movements) in 2020 global luxury sales to come from the Chinese, putting their expected impact at 4 percentage points.  Some companies in particular, including Burberry Group Plc and watchmakers Swatch Group AG and Cartier-owner Richemont, have an exposure above the industry average. It’s too early to say what will be the impact of this new coronavirus that’s gripping China as hundreds of millions of people travel for the Lunar New Year — traditionally a time when revelers spend on goods from the top luxury brands. On Friday, the World Health Organization stopped short of calling it a global health emergency. After first appearing in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, it has spread to locations including Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand and the U.S. Chinese authorities have been working to revise or cancel planned holiday activities in an attempt to stop any further spreading. Starting on Saturday, Disneyland Shanghai is being closed temporarily.If the crisis intensifies, it could become more problematic. People wanting to avoid the risk of catching the virus will likely curtail anything but the most necessary travel, and avoid crowded areas, with shopping malls among them. That will hurt companies that managed to make up some lost Hong Kong sales at their stores in mainland China.It will also hit sales to Chinese tourists the world over. Although Hong Kong and Macau, which has canceled all of its Lunar New Year festivities, remain the most popular destination for Chinese travelers, Japan, the U.S., Italy and France are also high on their itineraries. Chinese tourists are the highest spenders across most of Europe, according to payments provider Planet, typically splashing out for goods worth about four times that of domestic shoppers. In the U.S., a number of retailers, including diamond jewelry specialist Tiffany & Co., have already said they’ve been impacted by having fewer tourists due to the dollar’s strength.Even though Chinese shoppers have recently been spending more at home, as excursions to Hong Kong fall, they still make the bulk of their purchases when they travel, a time when people are more inclined to blow the budget on impulse buys. Any slowdown in international travel would also hit demand in duty-free shops, including luxury behemoth LVMH’s DFS business and Dufry AG, in which Richemont has a 5% stake.There’s also a broader risk to spending at home and abroad. Luxury thrives when consumers feel happy and wealthy, not when people fears for their health, and that of friends and family. And if the virus has any knock-on effects on the Chinese economy, that would cause ripple effects elsewhere as well. The situation is bringing back memories from 17 years ago when the severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, killed about 800 people. At the time, Chinese shoppers probably accounted for about 10-15% of global luxury sales, much less than today.   So investors will be watching what the impact will be on the big groups. This week, LVMH, Kering SA, Burberry, Richemont and Swatch all fell, as well as U.S. names Tapestry Inc. and Michael Kors-owner Capri Holdings Ltd., all underperforming their respective markets. Some recovered on Friday. Yet valuations remain elevated. That means there’s little comfort as everyone tries to learn more about just what this virus will bring. To contact the author of this story: Andrea Felsted at afelsted@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Melissa Pozsgay at mpozsgay@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Andrea Felsted is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering the consumer and retail industries. She previously worked at the Financial Times.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • A Tennis-Ball-Sized Diamond Is the Ultimate Status Symbol

    A Tennis-Ball-Sized Diamond Is the Ultimate Status Symbol

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- If you have to ask the price, you can’t afford it. No wonder Bernard Arnault, France’s richest man, isn’t disclosing the details of LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE’s deal to carve up the second-biggest diamond ever recorded in the history books.On Thursday, Lucara Diamond Corp. said it had entered into a collaboration with LVMH that will see the 1,758-carat Sewelo diamond, which is roughly the size of a tennis ball, turned into Louis Vuitton jewelry. The stone’s name means “rare find.” LVMH is probably one of the few luxury groups that could pull off such a coup.But this is no vanity project. It comes hard on the heels of LVMH’s close to $16 billion purchase of Tiffany & Co., the go-to destination for engagement rings wrapped in that iconic little blue box. If that indicated the French company’s intent in jewelry, this leaves no doubt.It’s not yet clear how exactly the rough diamond will be used. Louis Vuitton has been expanding in fine jewelry, and with its Maison Vendome flagship store has a dedicated space for the category with its own entrance on the Place Vendome, the epicenter of Paris jewelry retailing. The group’s other jewelry houses include Bulgari, Fred, Chaumet, and the soon-to-be-added Tiffany. Christian Dior, meanwhile, has the potential to sell lots of pricey adornments to its fashionista fans.However it eventually polishes up, the Sewelo will be part of the classic luxury playbook.  LVMH will likely create several extremely high-end pieces  to establish a sense of exclusivity. While only a small number of customers may be wealthy enough to purchase these, many more will be able  snap up Tiffany bangles or Louis Vuitton rings. LVMH is counting on the stone to encourage these purchases, too. It’s the diamond-encrusted equivalent of sending extravagant creations down the catwalk to sell trunk loads of Louis Vuitton’s popular Neverfull bags, which sell for about 1,000 pounds ($1,307).Even taking this strategy into account, it’s likely that LVMH will seek to take Tiffany upmarket. There’s scope to increase its margins by jettisoning lower-price products and selling more high-end pieces. The allure of the Sewelo will help in this process, too.The luxury jewelry market is growing strongly, with particular demand for items boasting a designer label. Bain & Co. estimates that excluding currency fluctuations, sales rose 9% in 2019, in contrast to watches, where sales fell 2%. Timepieces have been hurt not only by the unrest in Hong Kong but by the segment’s continued disruption by smart and connected watches. Jewelry faces no such technological shifts. So there’s plenty of room for LVMH to expand.A more muscular rival is a worry for companies including Richemont, which owns Van Cleef & Arpels and Cartier, as well as Swatch Group AG, which owns Harry Winston. It could also make it harder for LVMH’s French archrival Kering SA, which also has scope to sell more jewels, to do so. Luca Solca, analyst at Bernstein, has suggested that a merger between Richemont and Kering would be a formidable response.LVMH’s Sewelo gem gambit is not without some potential pitfalls. At the moment it is a rough stone, whose outer surface is still covered in a layer of carbon. It’s not yet clear what kind or quality of polished gem it will reveal. Lucara Diamond previously said it may not deliver the highest standard.Whatever emerges, the stone’s size alone will make for an interesting story for LVMH’s marketing team. And with the group being at the cutting edge of fashion, it may be bolder and more creative than a diamond dealer, whose primary concern is usually how many carats can be secured in order to maximize the sale price. Add in the halo effect around the jewelry maisons — the Sewelo will be shown to clients and press at the Paris couture shows next week before embarking on a world tour —  and there’s even less of a risk.So even if the Sewelo doesn’t turn out to be as much of a sparkler as hoped, it will still help LVMH sell plenty of other baubles.To contact the author of this story: Andrea Felsted at afelsted@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Melissa Pozsgay at mpozsgay@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Andrea Felsted is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering the consumer and retail industries. She previously worked at the Financial Times.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Bloomberg

    The Elite De Beers Diamond Buyers Club May Get Even Smaller

    (Bloomberg) -- De Beers is considering key changes to the way it sells diamonds as frustration mounts among its customers—a supposedly elite group that are now struggling to turn a profit.De Beers has signaled to its handpicked buyers that it may significantly reduce their number, possibly by the most since its monopoly ended at the beginning of the century, according to people familiar with the discussions. It’s also reconsidering the way that diamonds are allocated among the group, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the conversations were private.Read More: The Elite Club That Rules the Diamond World Is Starting to CrackThe world’s biggest producer is wrestling with the way it sells diamonds after a disastrous year for the companies that cut, polish and trade the world’s gems. The middlemen of the industry are in trouble after a glut of both rough and polished stones destroyed profit margins and banks tightened financing. The situation was made even worse as De Beers held firm on its selling prices until late in the year.By reducing the number of its customers, the company could help strengthen the remaining businesses.De Beers executives will meet the 80-some accredited buyers next week in Botswana for the company’s first sale of the year and annual cocktail party—a tradition that dates back to when De Beers was run by the billionaire Oppenheimer family. Customers have been told to expect an update on possible changes during the gathering, said the people.To be sure, no final decisions have been made and details are only likely to emerge later in the year, they said. De Beers’s current six-year contract with buyers expires at the end of 2020.A De Beers spokesman declined to comment on the specific changes being considered.“We will be communicating directly with customers in the coming months about the new contract, which will focus on maximising the opportunities in the new diamond world,” the company said in a statement.The historic mining company’s relationship with its customers, which range from Indian and Israeli family businesses to units of jewelers like Tiffany & Co., has always been complex. In a system that originated in the 1890s, De Beers sells its gems through 10 sales each year and the buyers, known as “sightholders,” must accept the—usually discounted—price and quantities they’re offered.Read More: The Problem With Diamonds Is They Keep Getting CheaperAs the diamond industry crisis spread last year, the company offered unprecedented flexibility in the sale rules and eventually lowered prices to assist its buyers. Still, frustration with the process remains.A key point of contention is De Beers’s policy of allocating more diamonds to sightholders that have bought large amounts previously. It’s designed to reward the strongest buyers, but some in the industry suspect it’s resulted in irrational buying and dumping of stones, especially after De Beers allowed more flexibility in sales last year.De Beers has indicated it could change the allocation criteria to be more subjective, the people said.To contact the author of this story: Thomas Biesheuvel in London at tbiesheuvel@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Lynn Thomasson at lthomasson@bloomberg.net, Liezel HillDylan GriffithsFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • These Are the World’s Most Expensive Cities for Luxuries

    These Are the World’s Most Expensive Cities for Luxuries

    (Bloomberg) -- Sign up here to receive the Davos Diary, a special daily newsletter that will run from Jan. 20-24.Wealthy bargain hunters should be wary of getting married in New York, hiring lawyers in Hong Kong or buying fine wines in Rio de Janeiro.That’s according to research from Julius Baer Group Ltd., which broke out the world’s most expensive cities for a variety of luxury goods and services -- from houses to whisky to handbags. High local tax rates make Rio de Janeiro -- Brazil’s second-largest city -- the world’s most expensive metropolis in five of 18 categories in the Swiss bank’s “Global Wealth and Lifestyle Report 2020.”New York ranked as priciest place to lay on a 400-person wedding banquet or hire a personal trainer, while London took top spot for the laser eye surgery that clears blurry vision. Still, Hong Kong is the world’s most expensive city overall, with the former British colony cited frequently in the top 10 priciest municipalities for categories such as fine dining, hotel suites and luxury cars.The report released Thursday underscores the growing scope of opulence among the world’s wealthy as tensions mount in some nations over the divide between the rich and everyone else. Widening inequality in Hong Kong, fueled by low taxes, has helped incite the city’s worst unrest since it returned to Chinese rule in 1997. There has also been unrest in parts of Latin America and Europe over rising living costs.The idea of luxury “once stood for fancy goods, such as handbags or sports cars,” Nicolas de Skowronski, head of wealth management solutions at Julius Baer, said in the report. “Now it has morphed into a broad category that includes services and experiences, from fine dining to new lifestyle trends such as wellness.”While Hong Kong may drop in future rankings after months of protests take their toll on the economy, other Asian cities are well represented in the firm’s ranking of most expensive, including Shanghai, Tokyo, Singapore, Taipei and Bangkok all in the top half. That section also included Los Angeles and Miami -- the only other U.S. cities listed in the report -- although neither rank top for individual categories of how the wealthy splash their cash.(Updates with New York details in third paragraph.)To contact the reporters on this story: Ben Stupples in London at bstupples@bloomberg.net;Akshat Rathi in London at arathi39@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Pierre Paulden at ppaulden@bloomberg.net, Peter Eichenbaum, Steven CrabillFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Ex-LVMH chair: 'We have an awful lot of' luxury brands out there
    Yahoo Finance

    Ex-LVMH chair: 'We have an awful lot of' luxury brands out there

    According to one top luxury executive, the sector can’t sustain its current rate of growth — and might need to consolidate further.

  • Ex-LVMH boss on why Buffett passed on Tiffany: 'They need to polish up the diamond'
    Yahoo Finance

    Ex-LVMH boss on why Buffett passed on Tiffany: 'They need to polish up the diamond'

    Warren Buffett isn’t looking to add something shiny to his portfolio, and Pauline Brown has an idea why.

  • Business Wire

    Tiffany Announces Special Stockholder Meeting to Vote on Merger Agreement With LVMH to Take Place on February 4, 2020

    Tiffany & Co. (NYSE:TIF) (the "Company") today announced that it will hold a special meeting of its stockholders at its corporate office, 200 Fifth Avenue, New York, New York 10010, on February 4, 2020, beginning at 9 a.m., local time. At the special meeting, stockholders will be asked to consider and vote on, among other things, a proposal to adopt the previously announced Agreement and Plan of Merger, dated as of November 24, 2019 (as it may be amended from time to time, the "Merger Agreement"), by and among the Company, LVMH Moët Hennessy-Louis Vuitton SE, Breakfast Holdings Acquisition Corp. and Breakfast Acquisition Corp. ("Merger Sub"), providing for the merger of Merger Sub with and into the Company, with the Company surviving the merger. The Company’s board of directors recommends that stockholders vote in favor of the proposal to adopt the Merger Agreement.

  • Bloomberg

    How Instagram Changed the Way We Shop

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- On Oct. 6, 2010 — the first year of the decade now drawing to a close — the following headline appeared above a modest 445-word article on a tech-industry website: “Instagram Launches With the Hope of Igniting Communication Through Images.”It’s an almost comically quaint description of exactly what the company has done over the past nine years. On its way to amassing more than a billion users, Instagram has become many things: a joyful storehouse of family photos, a sledgehammer for celebrity tabloid culture, a shadowy abyss of teen bullying. Oh, and it has also become the most powerful force in shaping commerce this side of Amazon.com Inc.The smartphone app has notably served as a platform for new forms of consumer marketing. But its influence on spending is far more profound. Because everyone now lives their lives on camera, Instagram has played a crucial role in altering both the look and nature of products people buy and the physical spaces where they shop.Certain items were elevated to the must-have list this decade because they were shareable — that is, they photographed especially well or had a flair of whimsy that racked up the likes and comments. So the Ugly Christmas Sweater went from ironic joke to something Walmart Inc. had to stock in droves, while matching family pajamas invaded department stores.Product designers and merchants have gotten wise to this dynamic and have responded in kind. They brought shoppers pool floats shaped like swans and floppy sun hats with cursive kiss-offs like “Do Not Disturb.” They served up eye-catching rainbow bagels, Unicorn Frappuccinos and latte art. They scored with kids’ games such as Pie Face that were perfect for video snippets.“Bride Tribe” tank tops. Mermaid toast. “Live Laugh Love” wall art. It is doubtful any of these things would even exist if not for Instagram.In some cases, whole product categories have benefited from the photo-centric world that Instagram has created. The beauty business had several booming years this decade, powered by trends such as contouring and strobing that made women feel duck-face-ready. Sales of houseplants skyrocketed as Millennials outfitted their homes with fiddle-leaf figs that lent an artful flourish to photos.And then there are the stores themselves — if that’s still the correct term in the Instagram era. Retailers have created spaces that are alluring sets for photos, such as Tiffany & Co.’s addition of a robin’s-egg blue café to its Manhattan flagship and Canada Goose’s “cold room” sprinkled with real snow. Concepts like Museum of Ice Cream and Rosé Mansion aren’t so much stores as gallery-museum-commerce crossbreeds built on the back of Instagram.Meanwhile, restaurateurs have adapted the lighting in their dining rooms to be conducive to photos, knowing diners’ pictures are among their most powerful marketing tools. Splashy lettering, loud wallpaper, neon signs — these have become the default aesthetic of eateries looking to nab a spot in Instagram feeds.Restaurants are just one component of the so-called “experience economy,” a broader category of consumer spending that has been utterly upended by Instagram. The vacation-photo arms race has led to certain picturesque landmarks being choked by visitors and public lands being degraded. Hotels are also being forced to adapt. Industry giant Marriott International Inc., for example, debuted in 2014 a chain called the Moxy, where guests can opt to have their tiny rooms festooned with photo-friendly inflatable flamingos.Perhaps Instagram’s most peculiar commercial influence has been its role in creating entirely new spending occasions, particularly around life milestones. Maternity photo shoots have become commonplace; so have birth and newborn photo shoots. Same for “Trash the dress” and home-buying photo shoots. Some of these rituals started becoming trendy before Instagram’s rise, but it is the app that has cemented them as an ordinary thing to drop hundreds (or thousands) of dollars on.Relatedly, there now exists a weird species of consumer goods that no one needed before they revealed big news via a visual medium. Search Etsy for “pregnancy announcement props,” and you’ll find thousands of items: chalkboard-style signs, pacifiers and dog outfits emblazoned with baby announcements. You’ll find similar props to herald engagements, gender reveals and birthdays by photo.All of this is before contemplating what an essential tool Instagram has become for brand advertising. So-called influencers — a class that includes both Hollywood actresses and suburban moms with fewer than 10,000 followers — have perfected the art of hawking everything from fashion to protein drinks to tampons to credit-card rewards programs to their audiences in exchange for fees or free gear.In a $600 million testament to Instagram’s power as a marketing platform, beauty industry giant Coty Inc. took a majority stake this year in Kylie Cosmetics, the makeup brand that Kardashian clan member Kylie Jenner had made a hot seller largely thanks to clever promotion on the app. Fast-growing digital upstarts such as Fashion Nova and Revolve Clothing provide additional powerful examples of Instagram’s ability to put a brand on the map.  Instagram’s impact on shopping in the 2010s isn’t as easily quantified as that of Amazon. The online retailer’s transformative role can be seen in its estimated 38% share of the U.S. e-commerce market, a market value that briefly touched $1 trillion and CEO Jeff Bezos’s No. 1 or No. 2 spot on Bloomberg’s Billionaire’s Index.What Instagram did is change consumer culture. It turned shoppers into a performative swarm of shutterbugs presenting Clarendon-filtered (or maybe Juno-filtered?) versions of themselves and their surroundings to their followers. It changed not only how things are bought and sold, but why. When period-piece movies are someday made about the 2010s, the aesthetics used to evoke this decade— all-white kitchens, neon-colored foods, major sleeves — will be the ones that sparkled in Instagram’s onscreen world. Real life never looked quite so glossy.To contact the author of this story: Sarah Halzack at shalzack@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Newman at mnewman43@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Sarah Halzack is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering the consumer and retail industries. She was previously a national retail reporter for the Washington Post.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Business Wire

    Tiffany Presents Its Interim Holiday Period Sales Results

    Tiffany & Co. (NYSE: TIF) today presented its preliminary sales results for the interim period from November 1, 2019 through December 24, 2019 (the "2019 interim holiday period"). Worldwide (unaudited) net sales for the 2019 interim holiday period increased approximately 1 - 3% as compared to the same period in 2018.

  • Business Wire

    TIFFANY & CO. INVESTOR ALERT By the Former Attorney General of Louisiana: Kahn Swick & Foti, LLC Investigates Adequacy of Price and Process in Proposed Sale of Tiffany & Co. - TIF

    Former Attorney General of Louisiana Charles C. Foti, Jr., Esq. and the law firm of Kahn Swick & Foti, LLC ("KSF") are investigating the proposed sale of Tiffany & Co. (NYSE: TIF) to LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE. Under the terms of the proposed transaction, shareholders of Tiffany will receive only $135 in cash for each share of Tiffany that they own. KSF is seeking to determine whether this consideration and the process that led to it are adequate, or whether the consideration undervalues the Company.

  • Signet CEO explains the 'transformation journey' that boosted jewel giant's Q3 earnings
    Yahoo Finance

    Signet CEO explains the 'transformation journey' that boosted jewel giant's Q3 earnings

    Signet Jewelers (SIG)— the parent company of Kay Jewelers, Jared and Zales — is shining today after reporting strong third quarter earnings that beat expectations.

  • Stock market news: December 5, 2019
    Yahoo Finance

    Stock market news: December 5, 2019

    Stocks ended a choppy session higher Thursday as investors considered mixed commentary around U.S.-China trade prospects.

  • Business Wire

    Tiffany Reports Third Quarter Results

    Tiffany & Co. (NYSE: TIF) today reported its financial results for the three months ("third quarter") and nine months ("year-to-date") ended October 31, 2019. Worldwide net sales for the third quarter were unchanged from the prior year and decreased 2% in the year-to-date period. On a constant-exchange-rate basis, which excludes the effect of translating foreign-currency-denominated sales into U.S. dollars (see "Non-GAAP Measures"), worldwide net sales for the third quarter were 1% above the prior year and unchanged in the year-to-date period. Net earnings declined in both periods, reflecting lower operating margins, a higher effective income tax rate for the third quarter and a slightly lower effective income tax rate in the year-to-date period, in each case, as compared to the prior year.

  • How Much Is a Moncler Puffer Jacket Worth?

    How Much Is a Moncler Puffer Jacket Worth?

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Moncler SpA’s hotline just blinged. The brand, sported by Drake in his video for the popular song of that name, is being courted by Kering SA, according to Bloomberg News.Moncler has been a fashion-hit maker itself. If Francois-Henri Pinault’s Kering wants to get its hands on it, the Gucci owner will have to pay a price as rich as that commanded by one of its $1,000-plus down jackets.The Italian brand, with a market capitalization of 11 billion euros ($12.2 billion), would bring a sizable name that’s still capable of growth to Kering, valued at 69 billion euros. It would also usefully reduce the French group’s reliance on Gucci, which now accounts for more than 60% of group sales and 80% of operating profit.Moncler has scope to add further stores, particularly flagship locations, in China. While it has successfully expanded its range of products from its core down jackets into knitwear, there is an opportunity in bags and accessories. Kering’s expertise would bolster these ambitions. Digital marketing skills and the French company’s focus on sustainability could be useful too, as younger luxury buyers’ concerns about natural resources, such as down and fur, shape their buying habits.But Moncler won’t come cheap. Assuming a 25% premium over Wednesday’s closing price, a takeover would cost about 12 billion euros, adjusting for estimated net cash of 550 million euros. That equates to about 20.5 times this year’s likely Ebitda, exceeding the multiple that Kering’s French arch-rival LVMH has offered for the iconic diamond and jewelry brand Tiffany & Co.With Moncler forecast to make about 750 million euros of operating profit in 2023, the returns from a deal would be a mere 5% after tax, unless Kering could turbocharge the business. Given that the target is already well run under Remo Ruffini, its chief executive officer and biggest shareholder, that looks like a tall order. Moncler's operating margin is already strong at about 30%.This wouldn’t be a case of taking a tired brand and rejuvenating it. So the pressure would be on Kering to engineer ways of achieving higher sales in order to earn returns at closer to the 7%-8% level that would make a deal easier to justify.The French house can afford Moncler. Assuming an all-cash deal, net debt would increase from 0.4 times Ebitda to 2.4 times. That’s manageable. Kering also has a 16% stake in sportswear maker Puma SE, worth about 1.6 billion euros, to play with. But a deal would wrap up much of Kering’s acquisition firepower up in a puffer jacket, leaving little room to expand into other areas, such as jewelry.There is better value to be found elsewhere, for example in Britain’s Burberry Group Plc, whose recovery plan has yet to pay off. Kering could also bring the skills it used to reinvigorate the Gucci brand to Prada SpA or Salvatore Ferragamo SpA. While this could mean more upfront investment, there is a much bigger turnaround potential.Although Burberry has no controlling family, Prada and Ferragamo do. So far, they have shown no indications of wanting to sell. A reshuffle of Moncler’s ownership recently reduced Ruffini’s stake to 22.5%Even so, Moncler’s down jackets are best known for keeping out the cold. The company has plenty to help it repel a predator, or more likely, make them pay a bulky price.\--With assistance from Chris Hughes.To contact the author of this story: Andrea Felsted at afelsted@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Melissa Pozsgay at mpozsgay@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Andrea Felsted is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering the consumer and retail industries. She previously worked at the Financial Times.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Investing.com

    Stocks - Nike, Slack Rise Premarket, United Airlines Falls

    Investing.com - Stocks in focus in premarket trading on Thursday:

  • Reuters - UK Focus

    REFILE-UPDATE 3-Moncler plays down possible Kering tie-up amid luxury merger wave

    PARIS/MILAN, Dec 5 (Reuters) - The chief executive and top shareholder of puffer jacket maker Moncler played down speculation around a takeover by Gucci-owner Kering on Thursday, saying the two firms sometimes talked but that there was no deal in the works. Shares in the Italian label, which has become a luxury industry darling in recent years after a makeover under CEO Remo Ruffini, surged earlier after Bloomberg reported that it had held exploratory discussions with Kering.

  • Kroger, Ulta earnings — What to know in markets Thursday
    Yahoo Finance

    Kroger, Ulta earnings — What to know in markets Thursday

    Grocery giant Kroger and beauty retailer Ulta earnings will be in focus Thursday.

  • Investing.com

    Day Ahead - Top 3 Things to Watch

    Investing.com - Here are the three things that could rock the markets tomorrow.

  • Jobs report, manufacturing data — What to know in the week ahead
    Yahoo Finance

    Jobs report, manufacturing data — What to know in the week ahead

    Two big economic reports will be on investor’s radars this week — the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) manufacturing data and the November employment report.

  • Nordstrom may have finally turned the corner
    Yahoo Finance

    Nordstrom may have finally turned the corner

    Black Friday has begun. Yahoo Finance speaks with Nordstrom's president of stores Jamie Nordstrom.

  • Black Friday 2019 Live Updates: Online sales up 19.2% from a year ago
    Yahoo Finance

    Black Friday 2019 Live Updates: Online sales up 19.2% from a year ago

    Yahoo Finance hits the stores to see how Black Friday has started for retailers.

  • LVMH's ex-boss slams Tesla's Cybertruck as a 'big miss'
    Yahoo Finance

    LVMH's ex-boss slams Tesla's Cybertruck as a 'big miss'

    A former LVMH executive is weighing in on the automotive industry — and singled out Tesla for its 'disastrous' cybertruck.

  • Former LVMH exec says Richemont could buy Tiffany
    Yahoo Finance

    Former LVMH exec says Richemont could buy Tiffany

    Tiffany & Co. (TIF) said yes. The luxury jeweler is gearing up to be bought by LVMH (MC.PA) after the luxury retailer proposed with a $16.2 billion deal.

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