Estée Lauder has agreed to buy Tom Ford’s high-end fragrances, making designer, film director, art collector and fashion world provocateur, Tom Ford now officially a billionaire.
On Tuesday, November 15, Estée Lauder announced it had agreed to buy his company in a deal that totaled $2.8 billion – the largest in the luxury industry this year.
Ford, 61, will stay on with the brand through the end of 2023, though his role beyond that is not yet clear.
Saying he “could not be happier,” Mr. Ford added of Estée Lauder in a statement, “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.”
Tom Ford’s beauty business includes fragrance, cosmetics and skin care. Before this deal, Estée Lauder has had a longstanding licensing agreement with Tom Ford.
The deal also brings apparel to Estée Lauder, which had been strictly focused on beauty, with a portfolio of brands that include La Mer, Bobbi Brown and Clinique.
“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,” Fabrizio Freda, the chief executive officer of Estée Lauder, said. He added the deal would further his company’s growth in “luxury beauty for the long-term.”
Estée Lauder, which will pay $2.3 billion, will finance the deal through a combination of cash, debt and $300 million in deferred payments. Marcolin, the Italian group that owns the license for Tom Ford eyewear, will pay $250 million to Estée Lauder when the deal closes.