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Estèe Lauder could buy Tom Ford for $3 billion

Thus bringing the titan of cosmetics into the world of fashion

Estèe Lauder could buy Tom Ford for $3 billion Thus bringing the titan of cosmetics into the world of fashion

UPDATE 02/08/2022: It looks like it will be Estèe Lauder, and not LVMH or Kering, that will buy Tom Ford's brand for an amount that, according to early rumors, is around three billion dollars. The acquisition, if the figures are confirmed, would be the most expensive in the 76-year history of the company, which by including a fashion brand in its portfolio would fully enter the world of luxury apparel. Although at the moment its own stable of brands (which also includes Tom Ford Beauty) does not include a single clothing brand, the Estèe Lauder group already frequents the world of ultra-luxury through haute perfumerie brands such as Frederic Malle and Jo Malone. As Vogue Business reports, in fact, business is good for the cosmetics giant: Tom Ford Beauty's sales grew significantly in the last quarter, and the luxury skincare section is booming led by brands such as Le Labo and La Mer as well as the recent Korean acquisition Dr. Jart. And given the news, as well as Ford's leave of absence from the U.S. fashion council, it appears that his closing show on September 14 will be the last one featuring Ford as owner of his own company.


As Paris Couture Week comes to a close, there are suspicious movements on the other side of the ocean. According to sources cited by Bloomberg, in fact, Tom Ford is reportedly working with Goldman Sachs Group on a valuation of the company, with a view to a potential sale. Also according to the sources, the Texan designer's empire will have a very high price tag: between the huge retail circuit, ramifications in the beauty and perfume fields, as well as, of course, for his products sold worldwide, initial estimates suggest several billion dollars. Also according to Bloomberg, a possible sale «may include an option that would give any new owner of Tom Ford the right to work with its founder after the sale» suggesting that in any case the designer would not be ready to retire from the scene. Spokesmen for Tom Ford, however, did not comment on the rumor.

It is clear that, if it is indeed a sale, the main buyers could be Kering or LVMH, perhaps the only ones with several billion to invest in the Texas designer's empire. Of the two, the favorite could be Kering considering how Ford headed both Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche early in his career and that Domenico De Sole, president of Tom Ford, had already headed Kering's brands before the group became the industry titan it is today. At the same time, LVMH already owns another iconic American brand, Marc Jacobs, and according to some rumors is pondering the acquisition of Ralph Lauren, another company with a multibillion-dollar valuation. The truth, in any case, will emerge in the coming months, which will pave the way for a 2023 in which the fever of acquisitions and takeovers in the industry could reach sizeable proportions.