The daily business briefing: September 10, 2020

French luxury giant LVMH scraps deal to buy Tiffany & Co., J.C. Penney reaches a deal to avert liquidation, and more

A J.C. Penney sign
(Image credit: Getty Images)

1. LVMH backs out of Tiffany acquisition

Luxury goods giant LVMH said Wednesday it was pulling out of its deal to take over jewelry retailer Tiffany & Co. The Paris-based conglomerate said it was ending the deal because the French government had asked for a delay to review proposed U.S. tariffs, but the decision came after the coronavirus crisis threatened the deal's value. The $14.5 billion deal would have been the luxury market's biggest ever. It had been scheduled to close in November. Tiffany said it would sue to enforce the agreement, saying LVMH's justification for its decision had no basis in French law and the buyer had not tried to get antitrust approval. The two companies signed the deal in November 2019.

The Hollywood Reporter

2. Mall operators Simon and Brookfield to acquire J.C. Penney stores

J.C. Penney reached a deal to sell its retail business to mall owners Simon Property Group and Brookfield Property Partners, averting a liquidation. The buyers will pay $300 million in cash and assume $500 million in debt, lawyers for the department store chain said in a bankruptcy court hearing on Wednesday. With the sale, which values J.C. Penney at $1.75 billion, the retailer is "in a position to do exactly what we set out to do at the very beginning of these cases and that is to preserve 70,000 jobs, a tenant for landlords, a vendor partner, and a company that has been around for more than a century," lawyer Joshua Sussberg said. J.C. Penney filed for bankruptcy protection in May, the biggest retailer to do so in the coronavirus crisis.

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The New York Times

3. Stock futures struggle after Wednesday's rebound

U.S. stock index futures fell slightly early Thursday after Wednesday's rise ended a three-day losing streak. Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 were down by about 0.2 percent, while those of the tech-heavy Nasdaq fell by about 0.1 percent several hours before the opening bell. Wall Street surged on Wednesday as big tech stocks rebounded from a sharp sell-off. The Dow and the S&P 500 jumped by 1.6 percent and 2 percent, respectively, on Wednesday. The Nasdaq gained 2.7 percent, pulling out of correction territory after a plunge fueled by concerns of a possible tech bubble. Shares of Tesla jumped by nearly 11 percent in the session following their worst day ever. Apple rose by 4 percent.


4. GOP senators skeptical about coronavirus relief bill's chances

Top Republican senators expressed doubt on Wednesday that they could pass a new, bipartisan coronavirus relief package before the November election. Talks with Democrats have broken down. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said he was "optimistic" that his fellow Republicans would get behind a reduced $500 billion COVID-19 relief proposal in a Thursday test vote, but Democrats, who are calling for a much larger package, have said they would block the GOP plan as inadequate. "Unless something really broke through, it's not going to happen,” said Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee. Barring a breakthrough, senators are expected to pass legislation to avoid a federal shutdown and return home to campaign.

The Associated Press

5. Report: ByteDance, U.S. discuss alternative to TikTok sale

China's ByteDance reportedly is conducting talks with the Trump administration about ways it could avoid selling the U.S. operations of its short-video app, TikTok, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday. One option reportedly on the table is finding an American company to secure TikTok's data and possibly assume partial ownership. President Trump imposed a looming Sept. 20 deadline for ByteDance to reach a deal to sell TikTok's U.S. operations, citing concerns Beijing could get access to the app's user data. But the discussions of an alternative arrangement began after the Chinese government imposed new regulations on technology exports that complicated any effort to make a sale to a U.S. technology giant like Microsoft.

The Wall Street Journal CNBC

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Harold Maass

Harold Maass is a contributing editor at He has been writing for The Week since the 2001 launch of the U.S. print edition. Harold has worked for a variety of news outlets, including The Miami Herald, Fox News, and ABC News. For several years, he wrote a daily round-up of financial news for The Week and Yahoo Finance. He lives in North Carolina with his wife and two sons.