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Estee Lauder’s aquisition would allow for the continuity of the Tom Ford brand ‘as one of the pre-eminent global luxury brands of the 21st century,’ it said
AFP, NEW YORK
Luxury beauty brand Estee Lauder Companies Inc said in a statement on Tuesday that it had agreed to buy designer Tom Ford’s company for US$2.3 billion.
The deal, which values Ford’s business at US$2.8 billion, would see the US fashion superstar remain in his position as creative director until the end of next year, the statement said.
Bringing the brand under the “stewardship” of Estee Lauder Companies “will allow for continuity and the further evolution of the Tom Ford brand as one of the pre-eminent global luxury brands of the 21st century,” the New York-based company said in its statement.
The deal includes the Tom Ford Beauty cosmetics and fragrance collection, with which Estee Lauder already has a licensing agreement until 2030.
Estee Lauder also holds major brands such as MAC cosmetics, Clinique and La Mer facial products, and Aveda.
The group expects Tom Ford Beauty to hit sales of US$1 billion a year within two years, betting on the success of its luxury perfumes in the US and China.
“We are incredibly proud of the success Tom Ford Beauty has achieved in luxury fragrance and makeup, and its dedication to creating desirable, high-quality products for discerning consumers around the world,” Estee Lauder Companies chief executive officer Fabrizio Freda said in the statement.
“This strategic acquisition will unlock new opportunities and fortify our growth plans for Tom Ford Beauty,” Freda said.
The deal also includes licenses for the brand’s men’s and women’s fashion lines, eyewear label, and accessories and underwear divisions, the statement said.
The purchase of Tom Ford would grant Estee Lauder intellectual property rights to all of its lines.
The company no longer has to pay royalties for Tom Ford Beauty and would be able to take advantage of new revenue sources by granting its own licenses.
The agreement notably provides for the extension and expansion of the license granted by Tom Ford to Ermenegildo Zegna for clothing, accessories and underwear lines.
The license currently granted to Marcolin for Tom Ford glasses was also extended.
“I could not be happier with this acquisition as The Estee Lauder Companies is the ideal home for the brand,” 61-year-old Ford said in the statement.
Domenico de Sole, chairman of Tom Ford International, would remain at the company as a consultant until Ford leaves at the end of next year, the statement said.
Ford, who first launched his brand in 2005, is the current head of the Council of Fashion Designers of America. He launched film production company Fade to Black in 2005, and previously worked as creative director at Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent in the 1990s and early 2000s.
Other groups had been in the running to purchase Tom Ford, including French company Kering SA, which holds the Gucci, Saint Laurent and Balenciaga brands, the Wall Street Journal reported.
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