Monday, May 17, 2010

Estee Lauder Buys Smashbox Cosmetics

The Estée Lauder Companies adds another prestige cosmetics brand to its portfolio with the acquisition of Smashbox Cosmetics Beauty, Inc., the makeup company founded in 1996 by Dean and Davis Factor (left), great-grandsons of the legendary makeup artist, Max Factor, in an effort to provide products for makeup artists on professional photo shoots.

EL Cos. announced their definitive agreement with the L.A. based company on Monday, saying that the deal will close in July and will add to earnings in 2011, minus transaction and integration costs. The purchase price is unknown, however sources told WWD that the price tag was between $200M and $300M. The deal also includes a minority stake in Smashbox Studios, the Los Angeles facility started by the Factors in 1991.

With EL's strategic priorities focused on skin care and Asia, Smashbox doesn't fit the bill of a desirable acquisition. However, the makeup brand has a strong presence in open-sell environments and is a well known brand in specialty channels, such as QVC and Sephora, allowing EL to have a stronger presence in alternative retail channels. Smashbox also has expertise in digital and social media, which will help Estee Lauder to expand and reach new and younger customers. In exchange, Smashbox will be able to expand globally via EL's international experience.

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