TikTok is looking for ways to avoid a sale

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The White House set a tight deadline for Chinese-owned social media app TikTok: Find a U.S. buyer for your stateside operations by Sept. 20, or face a potential shutdown.

It became a mad scramble. TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, has been in talks with almost every tech giant, or so it seems, with names such as Microsoft and Oracle among the frontrunners for the company’s U.S. assets. But those talks hit yet another hurdle when the Chinese government announced new restrictions in late August that could make it even more difficult for TikTok to sell a U.S. company.

Now, TikTok is in talks directly with the U.S. government about potentially avoiding “a full sale of its U.S. operations,” per the Wall Street Journal. What could that mean? Well, it could lead to a deal in which, instead of buying the company outright, a U.S. tech partner takes a potential minority stake in TikTok and secures its data—which appears to be the crux of the White House’s concerns anyway.

LVMH BACKS OUT OF TIFFANY: French luxury conglomerate LVMH—which already owns brands including Chrstian Dior and Louis Vuitton—bid hard to acquire jeweler Tiffany & Co. to its roster late last year. In late October, it made a bid valuing the latter firm at $14.5 billion and then bolstering the offer at least twice before agreeing on $16 billion in a move that would allow LVMH to compete more strongly in the jewelry segment. It was very much the top of the market.

Now, amid the pandemic, LVMH has moved to back off the acquisition while Tiffany & Co. is suing its maybe-fiancee in the hopes of keeping the deal intact. The global lockdown halted international travel and cut into luxury sales by extension. Read more

PALANTIR SETS AN LISTING DATE: Palantir Technologies, the big data company planning to go public via direct listing, plans to debut Sept. 23 on the New York Stock Exchange. Last valued at $20 billion in 2015, its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission have shorn down that valuation. Based on back-of-the-envelope calculations of Palantir’s share price in private-market transactions, the company held an average valuation of about $12 billion in August. Read more.

Lucinda Shen
Twitter: @shenlucinda
Email: lucinda.shen@fortune.com


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- Academy Sports and Outdoors, a Katy, Texas-based sports and outdoor equipment retailer, filed to raise $100 million. KKR backs the firm. Read more.

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- SK Capital Partners added Christopher Fraser as Senior Director.

- Cressey & Company promoted Steve Dildine to Partner and Ryan Moseley to Principal. 

- Levine Leichtman Capital Partners promoted Tannaz Chapman to Managing Director; Michael Knapp to Director; Jay Berajawala to Associate Director; Steven Korff to Associate Director; Monty Ismail to Associate Director; Robert Papetti to Senior Associate, and Alexander Bruno to Senior Associate

This is the web version of Term Sheet, a daily newsletter on the biggest deals and dealmakers. Sign up to get it delivered free to your inbox.

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