Over the past two weeks, leading financial media such as The Wall Street Journal have reported on a swirl of rumours centred on the acquisition of the Tom Ford fashion and accessories label.

One week it was Kering, the French-based multinational and owner of Balenciaga, Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent and Bottega Veneta. But the intel kept coming back to the Estée Lauder Companies (ELC) and it was right.

ELC has acquired Tom Ford for US$2.3 billion ($3.4 billion), edging out Kering and other competitors.

It’s the biggest acquisition ever for ELC. In 2021, the multinational took complete control of Deciem, the parent company of The Ordinary, for US$1 billion – a new record purchase for the company at the time.

Lauder has held the license for Tom Ford Beauty, the fragrance and makeup brand, since 2011. The fast-growing brand generates worldwide revenues of US$275 million and has posted record growth in China in recent years.

The new acquisition is a major pivot for Estée Lauder and marks its first foray into luxury fashion and accessories. The Tom Ford brand has a turnover of US$800 million and the new deal values the total business at US$2.8 billion.

The Ermenegildo Zegna Group and Marcolin will enter long-term license agreements for Tom Ford fashion and eyewear.

Following the closing of the deal, Tom Ford will stay on as his eponymous brand’s creative director through to the end of 2023. Domenico De Sole, chairman of Tom Ford International, will also remain a consultant for the same timeframe.

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, said Fabrizio Freda, president and CEO of Estée Lauder.

“As an owned brand, this strategic acquisition will unlock new opportunities and fortify our growth plans for Tom Ford Beauty. It will also further help to propel our momentum in the promising category of luxury beauty for the long-term, while re-affirming our commitment to being the leading pure player in global prestige beauty.”

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