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Dive Brief:

  • In a deal potentially worth $3 billion, Estée Lauder is currently in talks to buy luxury brand Tom Ford, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal. 
  • If it goes forward, the deal would be the largest acquisition ever by Estée Lauder. In an email to Retail Dive, a company spokesperson said that Estée Lauder Companies is not providing comment at this time.
  • Bloomberg reported in early July that Tom Ford was exploring a potential sale and working with investment bank Goldman Sachs Group on the endeavor.

Dive Insight:

Will Estée Lauder, which is known for beauty and fragrance, expand its portfolio to include a luxury fashion brand? 

The beauty company currently owns over 25 prestige brands, including Clinique, La Mer, Mac, Smashbox and Too Faced, and describes itself to investors as “the only major company focused solely on prestige beauty.” 

Yet, it still is continuing to cultivate its offerings. 

“Our portfolio strategy includes growing existing brands and discovering new high-potential acquisitions that align with our values and offer a long-term outlook for success,” Fabrizio Freda, CEO and president of Estée Lauder Companies, says in a statement on the company’s website about its brands. 

Tom Ford began a partnership with Estée Lauder in 2005, which led to the development of cosmetics and fragrances under the Tom Ford Beauty brand. 

Talk of Tom Ford exploring a sale surfaced earlier in the summer, with Bloomberg reporting that such a transaction could potentially give any new owner the ability to work with its founder following the sale. Alternatively, the brand may still decide to remain independent, per the report. 

Estée Lauder took a controlling stake in the Deciem brand, parent company of The Ordinary, for $1 billion in 2021.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect that Estée Lauder declined to comment.

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