British luxury goods retailer Burberry has turned down a number of takeover offers from U.S. fashion giant Coach in the past few months, according to a report Sunday by the Financial Times.
The report cited people briefed on the matter and stated that if the deal had gone through, the combined company would have been valued at over $20 billion, creating a fashion powerhouse, bringing together the U.K.’s biggest luxury goods retailer and Coach’s leather goods, handbags and recently acquired shoemaker Stuart Weitzman.
The proposals from Coach reportedly peaked soon after the summer and were informal, attempting at a cash-and-stock bid for Burberry. The sources, however, could not confirm the premiums or whether Burberry gave serious consideration to Coach’s offers.
It was confirmed that talks are no longer taking place between the two companies and the Financial Times reported that both Coach and Burberry declined to comment.
Burberry’s shares have risen by almost a third after it hit its lowest level in mid-June at 14.11 pounds (almost $18). It currently has a market value of 6.2 billion pounds (almost $7.9 billion) with no debt. Shares in the U.S. company, on the other hand, have climbed 11 percent since the year started and Coach’s market capitalization stands at $10.1 billion.
According to one of the people close to the matter, cited by FT, Coach’s chances at acquisition could have been successful if the overtures were made earlier in the year. With a tough initial half of 2016 because of slowdown in luxury demand and unstable leadership, Burberry was in a vulnerable position that only got exacerbated with the U.K.’s vote to exit the European Union. The retailer, however, has reportedly benefited from an exchange rate boost from sales in dollars and euros.
Three investment banks — including independent advisory group Evercore Partners — were working with Coach on the situation while Burberry was advised by London-based advisory firm Robey Warshaw among others.