Estée Lauder set to announce $2.8bn acquisition of Tom Ford
Estée Lauder Companies is reported to be poised to announce the $2.8 billion (£2.2 billion) acquisition of Tom Ford.
An announcement from the American cosmetics giant may come as soon as today and the deal would mark the first time it has acquired a fashion business, although it has held an agreement with the Texan designer to create beauty and fragrance since 2005.
Tom Ford, a former creative director of Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent, launched his namesake label with beauty and fragrance in 2005, adding ready to wear in 2010. The business now incorporates men's and women's ready to wear, eyewear, accessories, fragrance and colour cosmetics.
The business appointed Goldman Sachs to oversee a possible sale process earlier this year with Estée Lauder Companies emerging as an early favourite to buy it.
However in recent weeks, it was believed that French conglomerate Kering might be in the frame. A deal with Kering would have brought Tom Ford back into the group (formerly known as Gucci Group) where he made his name and raised speculation that he might be brought back to oversee Gucci once more.
It is understood that any buyer would have the option to remain working with Tom Ford at the head of the brand.
Tom Ford's label would sit alongside major global names in the Estée Lauder Companies portfolio, including Clinique, Jo Malone London, La Mer, Mac and Bobbi Brown.