Luxury cosmetics firm Estee Lauder will buy designer fashion house Tom Ford in a deal worth £2.4bn, the company has announced.
The deal would be Estee Lauder’s biggest acquisition to date. The US beauty firm already licenses Tom Ford fragrances and cosmetics, and beat off competition from Gucci owner Kering SA to clinch the deal. Estee Lauder said the acquisition would “unlock new opportunities”. Ford said it was the ideal home for the brand. Tom Ford said in a joint statement with Estee Lauder: “I could not be happier with this acquisition”.
He said the Estee Lauder companies had been “an extraordinary partner from the first day of my creation of the company and I am thrilled to see them become the luxury stewards in this next chapter of the Tom Ford brand.”
Tom Ford himself will remain in his current position as creative director until 2023 at least, the companies announced. However, one financial expert told the BBC that he was eyeing the takeover with caution.
Tom Ford, who first launched his brand in 2005, is the current head of the Council of Fashion Designers of America and previously worked as creative director at Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent in the 1990s and early 2000s. Following the news, shares in Estee Lauder, worth billions, fell slightly in after-hours trading.