After months of speculation, Estée Lauder announced and finalized its acquisition of Tom Ford's fashion company for $2.8 billion. As part of the deal, the beauty conglomerate will pay approximately $2.3 billion to the Tom Ford brand, in addition to $250 million to the brand's eyewear partner, Marcolin. This is the largest deal the fashion industry has seen in 2022.
The acquisition was primarily driven by the power and performance of Tom Ford's beauty business, which includes cosmetics, fragrance, and skin care. Unlike other mergers and acquisitions, Estée Lauder already plays a part in Tom Ford's beauty business operations; Emenegildo Zegna will continue to produce and distribute Tom Ford menswear, and Marcolin will stay on as the brand's eyewear license partner.
Fabrizio Freda, the Chief Executive Officer of Estée Lauder, believes that this deal would accelerate his company's growth in the luxury beauty industry in the long term. Through this acquisition, Estée Lauder has the ability to unlock Tom Ford's full exposure and profitability potential in the premium beauty industry by propelling the brand into new channels and markets. Furthermore, the acquisition comes at a time when the luxury market is projected to grow globally – with China beginning to show pre-pandemic buying habits for luxury goods.
Although the acquisition has been finalized, Ford will remain in the company as the brand's creative visionary alongside Domenico De Sole ,Chairman of Tom Ford’s International, serving as a consultant until the end of 2023.
Ford stated, "I could not be happier with this acquisition as The Estée Lauder Companies is the ideal home for the brand.” Ford will have the option to renew his contract after the year or continue as a consultant.
This acquisition with Estée Lauder will land Tom Ford on the list of American fashion billionaires.