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Trump Takes Shine to Famous Jewelry Company

September 8, 1989

NEW YORK (AP) _ Investor Donald Trump has received government clearance to purchase more than $15 million of the jewelry firm Tiffany & Co.’s stock, a Trump spokeswoman said.

″Mr. Trump thinks that Tiffany is a very exciting company that represents a good investment opportunity,″ Susan Heilbron, spokeswoman for the Trump Organization, said Thursday.

She declined to disclose whether Trump already owns any Tiffany shares or how large a stake he contemplates acquiring.

Tiffany issued a brief news release in which Chairman William R. Chaney said Trump had advised him that a filing was made to the government so that Trump might acquire and hold more than $15 million of Tiffany’s stock ″as an investment and not as part of a takeover effort.″

Tiffany’s stock recently has gone up amid takeover speculation and talk on Wall Street that the stock was being accumulated. Responding to the rumors, Tiffany released a statement on Aug. 25 saying it hadn’t received any takeover offers and wasn’t seeking any.

Trump, whose holdings include hotels, casinos and an airline, hadn’t been mentioned as a potential Tiffany suitor. He hasn’t made any filings to the Securities and Exchange Commission involving Tiffany, which would be required if he owned 5 percent or more of the company’s stock.

Tiffany stock rallied on news of Trump’s interest. It closed at $60.37 1/2 , up $6.12 1/2 a share in composite New York Stock Exchange trading.

New York-based Tiffany, which owns tony jewelry stores in numerous cities and a flagship store on Fifth Avenue adjacent to the Trump Tower building, was founded in 1837 by Charles Lewis Tiffany.

It was acquired by cosmetics company Avon Products Inc. in 1979, by which time Tiffany had become a public company traded over the counter.

Tiffany’s management took the company private in 1984 in a buyout from Avon for $135.5 million. In May 1987, Tiffany made an initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange at $23 a share.

For the first half of Tiffany’s 1989 financial year, which ended July 31, the company earned $9.8 million, or 63 cents a share, up 44 percent from $6.8 million, or 44 cents a share, a year earlier. Sales in 1989′s first half rose 35 percent to $159 million from $117.9 million.

Trump obtained the clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act which generally requires advance notification of stock or asset acquisitions if a purchase would result in an acquirer holding 15 percent or more of the voting stock of a company or more than $15 million worth of a company’s voting stock.

A Federal Trade Commission spokesman Thursday confirmed that the agency granted Trump early termination of the legal waiting period specified in the act. The waiting period is 15 days from when notification documents are submitted to the government for purchases taking the form of cash tender offers and 30 days for other types of investments.

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