The agreed deal, the largest ever in the sector, would give LVMH a bigger presence in the United States. It also would cement the status of Bernard Arnault, its chairman and chief executive, as the most acquisitive deal maker in the luxury business.
“We are delighted to have the opportunity to welcome Tiffany, a company with an unparalleled heritage and unique position in the global jewelry world, to the LVMH family,” Mr. Arnault, the chairman and chief executive of LVMH, said in a statement.
The acquisition would add a prominent American name to the LVMH stable of brands, which includes Dior, Givenchy, Fendi, Dom Pérignon and Bulgari. The deal would help propel the French luxury company beyond traditional soft luxury goods like clothing and handbags and into what is known as the hard luxury sector, which includes watches and jewelry.
LVMH, which already holds dominant positions in the worlds of fashion, leather goods, wines and spirits, has gone on a spending spree in recent years. It has picked up brands like Belmond hospitality and Rimowa luggage. The deal with Tiffany marks its second major American investment this year after it created a new luxury house, Fenty, with Rihanna, the singer.
The company had already ventured into jewelry in 2011 by buying Bulgari, which at the time was headed by Alessandro Bogliolo, now Tiffany’s chief executive. Mr. Bogliolo said in a statement that the transaction would “provide further support, resources and momentum” in its effort to “drive sustainable long-term growth.”
Although Tiffany’s Fifth Avenue store is a New York landmark in its own right, the jeweler’s signature blue boxes can found at more than 300 stores worldwide. After a rocky period, the brand has staged a comeback under Mr. Bogliolo’s leadership by targeting younger shoppers and expanding further in China.
The deal will give both LVMH and Tiffany the firepower to grow in China, where they will look to bring more of their goods to mainland consumers in an effort to tap into their spending power. Chinese tourist spending has been hit hard by the depreciation of the renminbi, the trade war between the United States and China and protests in Hong Kong.
LVMH’s share price opened 1.8 percent higher after the deal was announced.
The deal, which still requires the approval of Tiffany’s shareholders, is expected to close in the middle of next year.