// Harrods parent company Qatar Investment Authority gained £648m from selling shares in Tiffany & Co
// This came after LVMH’s £11.5bn acquisition of the jeweller
Harrods owner Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) has gained over $892 million (£648 million) when it sold shares in Tiffany & Co as part of LVMH’s $15.8 billion (£11.5 billion) acquisition of the US jeweller.
French luxury goods group LVMH finalised its acquisition of the retailer last week in which QIA had been a longstanding investor having initially acquired a 5.2% stake in late 2011.
QIA sold its remaining 9.3 per cent stake in Tiffany as part of a renegotiated deal that LVMH had agreed to with Tiffany shareholders in October, which involved it paying $131.5 (£95.5) per share.
- Tiffany & Co shareholders approve £11.6bn LVMH takeover
- Harrods will “take years to rebuild”, boss Michael Ward says
The $1.55 billion (£1.13 billion) sale by QIA amounted to a total gain of around $892.3 million (£648.09 million) representing an internal rate of return of 9.3 per cent from the sovereign fund’s total investment.
Tiffany’s last quarterly earnings saw a 70 per cent rise in sales in China and an ecommerce sales surge of 92 per cent – which indicated a recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.
In December, over 99 per cent of shareholders voted in favour of LVMH’s takeover of Tiffany after more than a year of ongoing negotiations between the parties.
Bernard Arnault’s LVMH made the first offer late last year but backed out of the deal when the pandemic began to affect businesses.
LVMH also blamed the French political intervention to delay completing the acquisition until January 6.
Separately, Harrods managing director Michael Ward said in early December that it will take him “years to rebuild” the business, as the pandemic continued to hammer sales.
The first national lockdown in March was the first time the store had closed for any significant time since the site opened in Knightsbridge in 1849.
In 2019, Harrods saw pre-tax sales of £232 million on sales of £871 million, or £1.8 billion including concessions.
That has allowed Qatar Investment Authority to declare dividends totalling more than £1.1 billion so far.
To shift unsold goods after the first lockdown, Harrods opened an outlet shop on a short-term lease at the Westfield London.
At the height of lockdown, about 3500 staff were placed on furlough, with the company topping up their wages from 80 per cent to 100 per cent.