Retail rents, Manchester City’s valuation and LVMH’s new jewel

Planet Business: LVMH faces the task of making Tiffany’s sparkle outside the US

Tiffany & Co assortment of ladders, not for sale, New York. Photograph: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Tiffany & Co assortment of ladders, not for sale, New York. Photograph: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

 

Image of the week: Bernard at Tiffany’s

All France’s richest man wanted for Christmas was US jeweller Tiffany & Co. The Bernard Arnault-chaired LVMH has now got its wish, paying $135 a share for the pleasure of buying Tiffany’s, valuing the company at some $16.2 billion. That’s not him on the phone clinching the deal, and the ladders and traffic cones in the picture, taken outside its flagship Fifth Avenue store in Manhattan on Monday, didn’t quite feature in the movie. Top of Arnault’s to-do list, however, will be trying to make Tiffany’s sparkle outside the US in the potentially lucrative Asian markets and in what Arnault called the “weakness area” of Europe too. Right now it seems all Tiffany’s American customers care about is that the French keep the chain’s little blue boxes.

In numbers: Football crazy

$500 million

Sum that Californian private equity firm Silver Lake is paying Manchester City owner City Football Group for 10 per cent of the company.

$4.8 billion

Valuation that this eyebrow-raising deal gives City Football Group, which is controlled by Abu Dhabi’s royal family.

$4.6 billion

Valuation that Forbes gives baseball team New York Yankees, suggesting that Manchester City has now broken a valuation record for a sports group.

Getting to know: Thanksgiving Four

The “Thanksgiving Four” are four Google employees who have had their contracts terminated by the tech giant after they were involved in a protest outside its San Francisco office. Google said the four were fired for “clear and repeated violation” of its data-security policies, while activist workers said this was “classic union busting dressed up in tech industry jargon”. The demonstration, attended by more than 200 employees, was organised to call for the company to reinstate two employees who had been put on administrative leave, Rebecca Rivers and Laurence Berland, who are two of the “four” who have since been fired. Rivers had previously questioned Google’s involvement with US immigration agencies and organised a petition against it, while Berland was active in protests against YouTube for its approach to hate speech. Time for Google to google “how to improve workplace morale”, perhaps.

The list: Expensive shopping streets

Grafton Street is the 13th most expensive street in the world for retail rents, according to a new report from property giant Cushman & Wakefield. But where are the top five?

5: Via Montenapoleone, Milan. Also known as Montenapo, the street is a parade of luxury fashion: Gucci, Prada, Missoni, Valentino. TripAdvisor’s suggested visiting duration to the area is a financially impossible three hours.

4: Avenue des Champs Élysées, Paris. The name for one of the most famous avenues in the world translates to Elysian Fields, the paradise for heroes in Greek mythology.

3: New Bond Street, London. The luxury brand magnet has the most expensive retail rents in Europe.

2: Upper Fifth Avenue, New York. The rents here used to be the highest in the world, but they are now falling, some retailers are leaving the priciest stretch.

1: Causeway Bay, Hong Kong. The area returned to the top of Cushman & Wakefield’s list last year and retained its title for 2019. Luxury retail sales in Hong Kong have plunged of late as pro-democracy protesters continue their fight for freedom.

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