FILE PHOTO: A Tiffany & Co. logo is seen outside a store in Paris, France, November 22, 2019. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

(Reuters) – Tiffany & Co (TIF.N) said on Wednesday Australian regulators have sought more time to review LVMH’s (LVMH.PA) multi-billion dollar purchase of the U.S. jeweler due to the coronavirus outbreak, potentially delaying closure of the deal.

The France-based owner of luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton offered to buy Tiffany for $16.2 billion last November, and the deal is expected to close mid-2020.

Tiffany said it still aimed to close the deal by that time, subject to the review by the Australian Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB).

The FIRB is experiencing delays in processing transactions and requested extending the statutory review deadline of April 8 to until Oct. 6, which LVMH has accepted, according to a regulatory filing www.sec.gov/ix?doc=/Archives/edgar/data/98246/000156459020015787/tif-8k_20200407.htm.

The deal was cleared by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on March 26, while a draft filing has been submitted in Europe and pre-filing discussions are going on with the European Commission, Tiffany said.

Tiffany’s shareholders approved the deal in February.

Both LVMH and Tiffany have temporarily closed several outlets across the globe, including Tiffany’s iconic flagship Fifth Avenue store in New York, to curb the spread of the virus.

Reporting by Nivedita Balu in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila

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