Will Estée Lauder miss out on Tom Ford after all? The American beauty group seemed to be in pole position to acquire the New York-based label, but now it seems Kering has become the prime candidate.
Tom Ford has started looking for a new owner in the course of the summer, and there seems to be no shortage of potential buyers. August seemed to bring victory to Estée Lauder: the American concern is said to have offered over three billion dollars for the fashion label, that already has a license to sell Tom Ford products (mainly perfumes). As those sales are going well, particularly in China, so a full acquisition seems to be the logical next move for Estée Lauder – even if it would be the largest deal in the latter’s history.
However, the Wall Street Journal reports that the tables seem to have turned and that French luxury group Kering, owner of major brands like Gucci, is in advanced talks to buy Tom Ford. Internal sources even call a deal imminent.
It would be a bit like home sweet home for Tom Ford, who has designed for Kering’s labels Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent before, only to leave the group and start his own label in 2004. However, his departure is reported to stem from “creative differences” that could not be solved, so it remains to be seen how a return to Kering would accommodate those issues.