Estee Lauder to Buy Smashbox

Posted on May 17, 2010

The Estee Lauder Companies Inc. announced today that it is purchasing privately-held cosmetics company Smashbox Beauty Cosmetics, Inc.. Smashbox was founded in 1996 by brothers Dean and Davis Factor, great-grandsons of the legendary makeup artist Max Factor. The deal is expected to close in July after receiving regulatory approval. The sale price was not disclosed.

"Smashbox, like The Estee Lauder Companies, is a creativity-driven, consumer-inspired organization with great talent," said Fabrizio Freda, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Estee Lauder Companies. "Adding Smashbox to our portfolio of brands will help strengthen our presence in prestige specialty channels worldwide, increase our product offerings in this important category and enhance our capabilities in digital media and direct response television. We are energized by the promising momentum of Smashbox and believe the brand will help attract new and younger consumers to The Estee Lauder Companies all over the world."

"The Estee Lauder Companies is the ideal home for Smashbox," said Dean Factor, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, Smashbox Beauty Cosmetics, Inc. "The Company possesses the scale and vision to help transition Smashbox into its next phase of growth, and its track record of nurturing and growing prestige brands is second to none. Moreover, we share a similar cultural heritage and dedication to consumer-inspired innovation and creativity. We expect to benefit greatly from The Estee Lauder Companies' extensive knowledge in product development, operational execution, and international marketing and distribution, and we look forward to the next great period of growth for the brand."

Estee Lauder already owns the M*A*C, Tom Ford, Prescriptives, Bobbi Brown, Jo Malone and La Mer brands. Dean Factor, Davis Factor and Budd Taylor, who is currently president of Smashbox, are expected to stay on with the company (although the company didn't say for how long or in what capacity) which will continue to be based out of Los Angeles.