WWD.com/fashion-news/fashion-features/tiffany-closes-in-on-little-switzerland-746354/

NEW YORK — Ninety-eight percent down, 2 percent to go.

This story first appeared in the October 29, 2002 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Tiffany & Co. said Monday that the tender offer by its wholly owned TSAC Corp. subsidiary for all of the shares of Little Switzerland Inc. at $2.40 per share, which expired on Friday, resulted in Tiffany holding 98 percent of the company’s shares.

As reported, Tiffany acquired a 45 percent equity interest in Little Switzerland for $9 million through newly issued shares in 1999.

Little Switzerland is a specialty retailer with 17 luxury boutiques on five Caribbean islands and in Alaska. It sells brand name watches, jewelry, crystal and fragrances. At the time of the acquisition, analysts said that the acquisition would give Tiffany an opportunity in the vacation travel market. Prior to the acquisition, Little Switzerland had been incurring operating losses for years, but was undergoing a turnaround.

In the subsequent offering, which began on Oct. 8, Tiffany accepted 4.1 million validly tendered shares of Little Switzerland, including 6,621 shares that were guaranteed to be delivered.

In addition to those shares tendered, TSAC on Oct. 8 acquired 4.5 million shares of Little Switzerland upon the expiration of the initial offer and extended withdrawal period. TSAC also purchased 2 million shares from Seymour Holtzman and certain of his affiliates on Oct. 8.

During a 20-day period expiring Nov. 14, the holders of options to purchase shares of Little Switzerland will have the opportunity to exercise their options in accordance with the terms of their option plans. Following that expiration date, TSAC intends to merge with and into Little Switzerland. Upon completion of the merger, Little Switzerland will become a direct wholly owned subsidiary of Tiffany & Co. International and an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Tiffany & Co. In addition, Tiffany will file a Form 15 with the Securities and Exchange Commission to delist Little Switzerland from trading on the over-the-counter bulletin board.

Tiffany earlier this month said it will open an 1,130-square-foot boutique on the first floor of Le Printemps in Paris, its second unit in the city. The first, at 6 Rue de la Paix, opened in 1999.