August 15, 2002
Tiffany Second Quarter Sales Down
Tiffany & Co. announced its fiscal second quarter same-store sales were down 2% from the same period in 2001. Overall Tiffany retail sales in the U.S. rose 1% to $187.2 million. Sales at the company's flagship store in New York City dropped 6%. Tiffany's second quarter profit fell 9%.
Tiffany & Co. also agreed to purchase shares in Caribbean jewelry chain Little Switzerland that would, if finalized, give Tiffany majority ownership.
Through its subsidiary, TSAC Corp., Tiffany has agreed to buy shares owned by Seymour Holtzman and his affiliates, including Jewelcor Management Inc. These represent about 12% of Little Switzerland shares.
Tiffany currently owns 45% of the total shares in the firm. However the agreement requires remaining shareholders to sell their shares to give Tiffany a 90% stake in Little Switzerland. Tiffany is paying $2.40 per share, or about a 73% premium over the stock's closing price Aug. 12. Tiffany & Co. expects to commence the tender offer on or soon after Aug. 15, 2002.
If the offer is successful, Tiffany intends to operate Little Switzerland as a separate business unit under the trade name Little Switzerland. Headquartered in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, Little Switzerland is a specialty retailer of luxury items, operating retail stores primarily in the Caribbean and Alaska.
by Michael Thompson