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Tom Ford is a high-end luxury fashion and beauty giant with a super successful brand known especially for fragrance and eyewear. Ford used to act as a creative director for Gucci in the 90s, saving it from bankruptcy and transforming it into one of the most famous luxury fashion houses. A decade later, he left Gucci to build out his namesake line in 2004. Tom Ford is not only a fashion designer, creative director, author and filmmaker – but he’s about to become a billionaire with a net worth of over US$2 billion.
On Tuesday, Estée Lauder announced it would buy Tom Ford Brands for a valuation of US$2.8 billion. This means Estée Lauder, which owns other high-end names such as La Mer and Clinique, will own the licensing agreement it’s had with Ford for about two decades and avoid having to renegotiate the deal in 2030. Tom Ford is a significant source of revenue for the brand – execs said the current licensing brings in nearly US$1 billion each year. After the acquisition, Ford will stay on as a ‘creative visionary” through the end of 2023.
“The Tom Ford Beauty line is hugely successful – prestige, premium-priced, fast-growth – and, I suspect, highly profitable,” said Deborah Aitken, a luxury analyst with Bloomberg Intelligence. “That now all stays in-house.”
“I could not be happier with this acquisition as the Estée Lauder companies is the ideal home for the brand,” Ford said in a statement. “With their full commitment, I trust they will continue the brand’s future as a luxury company that strives to produce only the highest-quality fashion and eyewear.”
The acquisition will “fortify our growth plans for Tom Ford Beauty,” said Estée Lauder CEO Fabrizio Freda. “It will also further help to propel our momentum in the promising category of luxury beauty for the long term.”