Qatar Investment Authority nets $892 million gain from Tiffany & Co. sale

FILE PHOTO: Tiffany & Co. jewelry is displayed in a store in Paris, France, November 25, 2019. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

LONDON (Reuters) - Qatar Investment Authority made a gain of around $892 million when it sold shares in Tiffany & Co as part of LVMH’s $15.8 billion acquisition of the U.S. jeweller, according to analyst estimates and filing data.

The French luxury goods group concluded 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.

After building that stake up over several years, QIA sold its remaining 9.3% stake in Tiffany as part of a renegotiated deal LVMH agreed with Tiffany shareholders in October that involved it paying $131.5 per share.

The $1.55 billion sale by QIA amounted to a total gain of around $892.3 million, representing an internal rate of return of 9.3% from the sovereign fund’s total investment, according to Diego López, Global SWF managing director.

“It represents a very good return for a listed equity in any environment,” he said.

Best known for its diamond engagement rings, Tiffany’s last quarterly earnings indicated the retailer had started to recover from the ravages of the coronavirus pandemic, with a 70% rise in sales in China and an e-commerce sales surge of 92% in the quarter.

QIA did not respond to a Reuters request for comment.

The Tiffany stake was one of several glitzy purchases QIA made in the years after the global financial crisis as it deployed the Gulf nation’s plentiful natural gas riches in assets ranging from German sports car maker Porsche to London’s Canary Wharf business district.

Editing by David Evans