deciem estee lauder

Toronto beauty brand Deciem selling to Estee Lauder in $2.2 billion deal

Another one of Toronto's incredibly successful homegrown companies (Deciem) is making waves in the business world today for inking a billion-dollar aquisition deal with a major multinational conglomerate.

Estée Lauder announced on Tuesday that it has agreed to purchase Deciem — creator of cult skincare line The Ordinary, among other brands — in two phases at a valuation of roughly $2.2 billion.

The acquisition will take place over three years, beginning with Estée Lauder increasing its shares in the Canadian company from roughly 29 per cent to 76 per cent this summer.

If all goes well, the New York City-based prestige beauty giant will own a majority stake in Deciem by June 30 of this year, and the whole company by 2024.

The sale is a huge deal not only for the Canadian skincare industry, but for Deciem fanatics everywhere: Product shortages, sporadic shutdowns and long delivery times should be a thing of the past when "The Abnormal Beauty Company" becomes a permanent part of the Estée Lauder portfolio. 

Founded in 2013 by the famously-eccentric late entrepreneur Brandon Truaxe, Deciem has grown to become one of the most important "functional beauty" companies in North America.

Widely praised for its affordable and innovative skincare lines, which include The Ordinary, NIOD, and Hylamide, Deciem currently boasts more than 1,000 employees across 35 stores worldwide.

The business remains headquartered in Toronto's Liberty Village with six retail stores around the city, each of them with their own distinct vibes, all of them currently closed amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Estée Lauder described the business in its release announcing the sale as "an industry disruptor with a consumer-focused approach" while hailing Truaxe as"a visionary who set out to change the beauty industry through authenticity and transparency."

"He developed the company with creativity and innovation alongside Founder, Pasquale Cusano and Co-Founder, Nicola Kilner," reads the press release from Estée Lauder, which first purchased a minority stake in Deciem four years ago.

Kilner stated in the release that Truaxe, who tragically died in Toronto roughly two years ago, would have been pleased with the move.

"Brandon dreamed of ELC being the forever home for DECIEM, and we are truly humbled to achieve his vision today," she said. "[Chief Scientific Officer] Prudvi, [COO] Stephen, our team and I will continue to build on Brandon's creation, and we thank ELC for their continued commitment to our vision and future."

Fabrizio Freda, President and CEO of Estée Lauder Companies Inc., said similarly that Deciem "is an exceptional company."

"Nicola and her team have built and cultivated authentic brands with highly effective, must-have products using a vertically integrated model, and have fostered a uniquely transparent and engaging communication style," said Freda.

"The company's hero products, desirable innovation, and digital- and consumer-first high-touch approach have been instrumental to its success."

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