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Burberry Halts Merger Talks with Coach

It appears that reports of a Burberry/Coach merger were premature.

According to sources cited in the Financial Times, the British brand is no longer entertaining the possibility of a deal.

Coach reportedly made several overtures to the luxury brand during the second half, focusing on a cash-and-stock takeover.

While neither company is commenting on the record, insiders say timing could have been a factor. Though vulnerable earlier this year due in part to the overall slowdown in the luxury sector in Asia and Brexit, Burberry is now on firmer footing thanks to a stronger exchange rate in dollars and euros.

Industry reaction to a deal between the two companies had been mixed. While some outlined possible synergies between them in terms of sourcing efficiencies and distribution opportunities, others remained skeptical about the potential benefits to each.

Coach, which has made no secret of its plans to expand, will no doubt continue its stated mission of adding brands strong in the handbag and accessories, footwear and luxury categories. The first major move in that direction was the acquisition of Stuart Weiztman last year for $574 million. Coach (COH) stock is up 14.07% year to date.