Luxury goods firm Louis Vuitton (LVMH) has confirmed it has held “preliminary discussions” about buying US jeweller Tiffany,
The statement followed reports that LVMH had made a $14.5bn (£11.3bn) offer to buy the company.
“The LVMH Group confirms that it has held preliminary discussions regarding a possible transaction with Tiffany,” it said.
LVMH is owned by France’s richest man, Bernard Arnault.
It produces a wide range of luxury goods including clothing, cosmetics, perfumes, drinks and fashion accessories, including its signature Louis Vuitton handbags.
It also owns brands such as Christian Dior, Givenchy and Kenzo, as well as many of the best-known champagne brands, including Dom Pérignon and Moët & Chandon.
Global demand for its products has held up well in recent years, but the same cannot be said for Tiffany, which has seen worldwide sales fall this year.
LVMH said there was “no assurance” that its talks with Tiffany would produce an agreement.
The announcement by LVMH came after media reports that the firm had submitted a preliminary, non-binding offer to Tiffany earlier this month.
The offer is said to value Tiffany at about $120 a share.
Analysts say LVMH is keen to expand in the US, where Tiffany is based.
LVMH has 75 brands, 156,000 employees and a network of more than 4,590 stores, while Tiffany employs more than 14,000 people and operates about 300 stores, including its flagship outlet on Fifth Avenue in New York.