Is Byredo about to be sold?

According to an article by WWD, reports are circulating that L’Oréal is set to buy Byredo, the luxury fragrance brand that launched in 2006 and has since expanded to colour cosmetics, eyewear and leather goods.

Byredo, which sold a majority of its stake to Manzanita in 2013, is said to have been exploring deal options since September last year, when it allegedly hired Goldman Sachs to consider a deal.

Brand founder, Ben Gorham, revealed last year in an interview with Beauty Inc that he was exploring options, saying: “I partnered with Manzanita about 10 years ago and together we realised an incredible vision. The current discussions have more been about what the next five to 10 years look like — it is an exploration, but right now nothing more than that.”

L’Oréal executives did not address the rumours, while Manzanita declined to comment, saying it “does not comment on media speculation.” Gorham could not be reached for his comment.

Meanwhile, sources who have ‘close knowledge of the deal’ revealed it has not been finalised. In fact, powerhouse companies Puig and The Estée Lauder Cos. are also thought to be hot contenders for the acquisition.

It comes as no surprise that Byredo has multiple buyers interested, as the brand is said to have generated sales of more than US$100 million and has been on a steady growth trajectory. Overall, the fragrance category also outperformed all other categories in the US prestige market last year, according to The NPD Group, with 49% growth.