Factbox: LVMH's jewelry and watches business

LONDON (Reuters) - LVMH has offered to buy Tiffany & Co, the U.S. jewelry retailer known for its engagement rings and ties to Hollywood glamor.

The proposed deal would help LVMH, owner of Louis Vuitton and Bulgari, to expand in jewelry, one of the fastest-growing parts of the luxury goods market.

Jefferies analysts estimated the proposed acquisition could double the size and profitability of LVMH’s jewelry and watches division, a business often called “hard luxury.”

Here are some facts about LVMH’s jewelry and watches division based on annual reports and the company’s website:

Set up in 1999, watches and jewelry is the newest of LVMH’s six business divisions.

A milestone for the jewelry business was its 2011 acquisition of Italy’s Bulgari for 3.7 billion euros, at the time the largest luxury goods deal in a decade.

Other brands include Chaumet, TAG Heuer, Fred, Hublot and Zenith.

With 4.1 billion euros ($4.6 billion) in sales, and earnings of 700 million euros in 2018, the division accounted for just 9% of sales and 7% of earnings from recurring operations.

The business is small compared with LVMH’s fashion and leather goods division, home to Christian Dior, Givenchy and other brands like Fendi and Louis Vuitton, which made up 40% of 2018 sales.

But it has grown fast. In 2010, before the Bulgari deal, sales from jewelry and watches were 985 million euros, 5% of the group total, and profits were 128 million euros, just 3% of the total.

Last year, jewelry and watches was LVMH’s fastest-growing division by earnings, at 37% growth for the year, due to a strong performance at Bulgari, Hublot and Chaumet.

Reporting by Josephine Mason. Editing by Jane Merriman