Estée Lauder Cos. is close to announcing a deal for US luxury brand Tom Ford, according to people familiar with the matter.
The transaction will include licensing agreements of Tom Ford’s eyewear and apparel businesses to other brands, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified discussing private information. A deal could value Tom Ford at about $2.8 billion, another person said.
Also read: Why buying Tom Ford would be a full-circle moment for Gucci
Representatives for Estee Lauder and Tom Ford didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
Tom Ford has a long history with licensing. Estée Lauder is a long-term licensee to the brand’s beauty and fragrance products.
All the company’s suits were licensed to and produced by Italian fashion house Ermenegildo Zegna Holditalia SpA until the Fall and Winter 2022 collection, when the exclusive rights were to expire, according to Zegna’s annual report. Tom Ford’s eyewear is produced and distributed by Marcolin SpA, an Italian manufacturer backed by private equity firm PAI Partners. The brand’s offerings also include accessories such as watches and small leather goods.
The deal would be the largest-ever for Estée Lauder, a cosmetics giant whose brands include MAC lipstick and Clinique moisturizers. The Financial Times reported earlier that Estée Lauder was nearing a deal with Tom Ford.
Estee Lauder fell 3.3% to close at $220.67 in New York trading Monday, giving the company a market value of about $79 billion.
Tom Ford, a 61-year-old Austin, Texas, native, started his namesake company in 2005, a year after leaving Gucci, which he revitalized during a decade-long stint as creative director. He also was creative director for the house of Yves Saint Laurent following Gucci’s acquisition in 1999.
Also read: Tom Ford closes NYFW with big hair, lots of sparkle