Estée Lauder close to announcing Tom Ford buy
It’s being reported that Estée Lauder Cos is about to clinch a deal to buy the Tom Ford business for around $2.8 billion, a takeover that would be its biggest acquisition yet and that would build on the existing licensing deals it has for the American designer’s beauty products.
Kering had also been in the running to buy the brand — which would have reunited Ford with the business that took control of Gucci Group when he was its creative chief — but Lauder is believed to have won the auction.
An official announcement is expected as early as Tuesday, barring any last-minute hitches.
Lauder has been seen as one of the companies most likely to buy the business since August, with reports back then suggesting a price tag of $3 billion. That’s a figure that has been revised downwards due to market volatility and a weak consumer backdrop.
The ultra-luxury Tom Ford brand includes menswear, womenswear, eyewear and that beauty portfolio for which Estée Lauder is already responsible.
It will be interesting to see how Lauder handles the fashion arm, an area in which it’s less experienced, with a person close to the matter telling The wall Street Journal that it’s expected to strike new licensing deals for the fashion and eyewear ops.
The giant US cosmetics firm is no stranger to integrating acquired business but it has never paid this kind of price before.
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