Estée Lauder acquires Tom Ford for $2.8 billion and breaks into fashion

By Sarah Parsons | Published: 16-Nov-2022

The New York beauty giant has developed the luxury fashion house's perfume and make-up lines since 2006

Estée Lauder Companies (ELC) has acquired Tom Ford for US$2.8bn, the beauty brand owner's biggest deal to date. 

The maker of MAC and Clinique has licensed Tom Ford's make-up, fragrances and skin care lines since 2006. 

Tom Ford Beauty is now "one of the most successful and aspirational beauty brands in the world", described ELC. 

ELC forecasted that the cosmetics business will land $1bn in sales within the next couple of years, after growing 25% in 2022. 

The acquisition includes Tom Ford's apparel, accessories and eyewear businesses, marking ELC's first step into fashion. 

ELC fought off competition from Alexander McQueen owner Kering to clinch the deal. 

Fabrizio Freda, CEO of ELC, said the acquisition will "unlock new opportunities" for the Tom Ford brand. 

Ford, the namesake founder, will step down as CEO and creative lead at the end of 2023. 

Domenico De Sole, Chairman of Tom Ford and the designer's long-term business partner, will also stay with the brand until Ford's departure.  

"I could not be happier with this acquisition as The Estée Lauder Companies is the ideal home for the brand," said Ford. 

"They have 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."

Ford owned an estimated 64% of the business and is expected to receive $1.1bn from the deal. 

Luxury Italian firm Zegna, previously an investor in the fashion house, will now licence Tom Ford's clothing business from ELC. 

Long-standing eyewear licensee Marcolin will remain as Tom Ford's glasses manufacturer.

“Zegna and Marcolin are the ideal long-term licensees for Tom Ford fashion and eyewear," added Freda.  

"We are thrilled to have the continuity they bring to the brand and their steadfast dedication to quality, luxury and craftsmanship will help us to carry this brand into the future.”


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