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Estée Lauder Companies in the frame to acquire Tom Ford

Lauretta Roberts
02 August 2022

Estée Lauder Companies is reported to be talks to acquire the business of international fashion designer Tom Ford, for whom it already holds the beauty licence.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the beauty conglomerate is among a number of interested parties looking to strike what it likely to be a $3 billion-plus deal to acquire the business.

Ford, who shot to international prominence with his high-profile roles at Saint Laurent and Gucci, established his own label in 2004. Beauty and fragrance have been a driving force of the brand, which, as a private business, does not disclose its financial figures.

As well as beauty, whose hero products include the Black Orchid, Neroli Portofino and Oud Wood fragrances as well as a line of colour cosmetics, the business takes in men's and women's ready to wear, eyewear, watches and jewellery. It has not yet ventured into skincare, a core competency of Estée Lauder Companies.

Tom Ford Estee Lauder

Tom Ford fragrance

The Texan designer was reported to have called in Goldman Sachs last month to explore a possible sale of his brand, which is typically one of the big draws at New York Fashion Week. He was obliged to cancel his show last season due to the resurgence of the Covid-19 virus but is due to show this September.

Should the deal to buy Tom Ford go ahead, it would mark Estée Lauder Companies' biggest acquisition to date; the beauty business has a market capitalisation of around $96 billion. The New York conglomerate's portfolio includes its flagship Estée Lauder brand along with some of the best-known brands in the business, including Clinique, Jo Malone London, La Mer, Mac and Bobbi Brown.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Estée Lauder Companies would considering licensing the clothing business if its bid was successful in a reversal of the usual model of fashion brand's licensing beauty.

Images: Alamy

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