After inking a deal to acquire Le Labo just a few weeks ago, Estée Lauder has added one more blue chip brand to its portfolio: Rodin Olio Lusso, the skincare company founded by stylist Linda Rodin whose flagship face oil has been winning over beauty aficionados since 2007. Not only is it Estée Lauder's second acquisition in the last month, but it's the second since the brand acquired Smashbox in 2010, ending a significant M&A dry spell.
The terms of the deal have not been disclosed, nor did a rep for the company respond to a question about Rodin Olio Lusso's sales figures over the last few years. Le Labo, which occupies a similarly known-but-niche spot in the beauty industry, reportedly generates $20 million to $30 million in sales each year.
Le Labo and Rodin Olio Lusso share a certain cushy status. Favorites of fashion and beauty editors, they seem niche but are ubiquitous in the press and are expensive but not as unaffordable as a brand like La Mer (also an Estée Lauder portfolio company). While Le Labo operates its own mixologist-type shops, Rodin Olio Lusso has a home at stores like Barneys, Colette and Liberty. Of course, it helps that Linda Rodin has been in the fashion industry as a model and stylist for quite a long time -- and that at 65, she is the pinnacle of aging with style.
As Estée Lauder President and CEO Fabrizio Freda put it in a statement, "Rodin Olio Lusso is the ultimate ‘insider’ beauty brand," noting that the team believes "it has the potential to be a high-growth global skin care brand that strategically enhances our portfolio." Basically: There's a lot of brand equity happening here, but not too much scale. Yet.
If this shopping spree continues, we'll be watching to see who Estée Lauder poaches next.