Estee Lauder have acquired By Kilian.

25th February, 2016

The Estée Lauder Companies have announced today that it has acquired By Kilian, the French prestige fragrance brand.

By Kilian was founded in 2007 by Kilian Hennessy and has built a passionate global following.

“By Kilian is a perfect complement to our portfolio of prestige fragrances,” said Fabrizio Freda, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Estée Lauder Companies Inc. “Kilian has built a beautiful and sumptuous brand that elevates the art of perfume creation with elegance and uncompromising luxury. This acquisition gives our Company a strategic opportunity to continue to build upon our leadership in ultra-luxury fragrances. We are very excited to work closely with Kilian and the entire By Kilian team to continue building on the brand’s terrific success.”

“I could not imagine a better home for my brand,” said By Kilian founder and CEO Kilian Hennessy. “The Estée Lauder Companies not only understands the philosophy behind By Kilian – which is to bring perfumery back to the level of luxury that it enjoyed in the early 20th century – but also has the resources and support to help By Kilian continue to strategically grow by category, region and distribution. The Company has an incredible track record of nurturing entrepreneurial brands, and I’m thrilled to be partnering with them.”

“Kilian’s heritage of sophistication and luxury is a terrific match for The Estée Lauder Companies,” said William P. Lauder, Executive Chairman, The Estée Lauder Companies Inc. “One of our leading strengths is the ability to identify brands with unique positioning and nurture them to realize their full growth potential. We are so pleased to partner with Kilian to continue this legacy, and we welcome him and his team to our family.”

This is the latest in several niche perfume house acquisions by Estee Lauder. The company acquired Frederic Malle and Le Labo in late 2014.

In other By Kilian news, the company recently opened a stand-alone store in London’s Burlington arcade, home also to Penhaligon’s, Roja Dove, Chanel and new sister-company, Frederic Malle.

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      • CapriDog | 25th February 2016 16:28

        OMG. Not an exciting news to say the least!

      • rum | 25th February 2016 16:36

        Well, there goes another one...

      • Oviatt | 25th February 2016 16:47

        It is interesting that EL's stock is trading down on the news.

      • CapriDog | 25th February 2016 16:59

        By any chance, do you know how EL's stock reacted when it just acquired FM and Le Labo?

      • Dane | 25th February 2016 17:00

        Has FM or LL's quality gone down since Lauder acquired them? I haven't kept up with the news.

      • chypre | 25th February 2016 17:05

        I wouldn't be adversed to By Kilian being a little more accessible.

      • Kem | 25th February 2016 17:13

        I'll give you that! and EL isn't a bad company. If By Killian was to be acquired, it could have been acquired by far worse.

      • Bonnette | 25th February 2016 17:29

        My opinion of Estee Lauder's reformulated fragrances is very low, so in the long run I don't hold out much hope for By Killian.

      • gandhajala | 25th February 2016 17:29

        I wonder why Kilian's brand was never under the LVMH umbrella.

      • epapsiou | 25th February 2016 17:32

        He wanted to break out from family business and be his own man.

      • schnozz | 25th February 2016 17:44

        I think we've got a correlation/causation issue here. I doubt this small deal is material and, in all events, the stock is essentially just trading sideways.

      • epapsiou | 25th February 2016 18:13

        Haven't you realized by now. In this world correlation implies causation. Or that is what all the esteemed news channel tell me

      • knightowl | 25th February 2016 18:26

        Will Creed be Coty?

      • MFfan310 | 25th February 2016 19:18

        As a Kilian megafan that also follows Estée Lauder as a company closely, it's surprising, but not surprising at the same time. Surprising because I thought an EU-based company would buy Kilian, and not surprising at the same time because Estée Lauder has been growing their niche portfolio. Remember that fragrance is a much smaller part of Lauder's business than cosmetics and skincare, so these recent niche acquisitions are a simple way to grow their fragrance sales.

        All things considered, this is a very good match for Estée Lauder as they dive deeper into niche. Truth be told, they've been into niche longer than most mainstream companies - Jo Malone was Lauder's first acquisition over a decade ago, back when they and Creed were the only well-known niche brands. And they've done a phenomenal job with the Tom Ford Private Blend line. They also know a good thing when they see one - Lauder bought Le Labo right before Santal 33 became a big-city hit. Overall, Lauder tends to nurture their niche brands very well - they basically operate them in the same hands-off way that Warren Buffett runs his businesses.

        I could see Kilian growing their distribution fast as well. As an independent company, they only had about 200 points of sale worldwide. Now, under Lauder ownership, they could double or triple that without diluting their prestige image. I definitely don't see Lauder putting it into Macy's, but I do see them doing something along the lines of what they did with Frederic Malle. For the longest time, the only place in Chicago that sold Frederic Malle was Barneys, but as soon as Lauder bought them, they put in Frederic Malle counters (coolers and all) at the three Neiman Marcus stores in Chicagoland. Ditto with Kilian: in the US, a Saks exclusive (in major markets) right now, but I could easily see Lauder adding Kilian counters to Saks stores in places like Indianapolis and adding Kilian counters at Neiman Marcus. I could also see more freestanding Kilian boutiques in places like LA, San Francisco, and Chicago, complete with city exclusives. Neither strategy would hurt the brand's prestige.

        I'll end by saying that The Estée Lauder Companies is an incredibly well-run organization, and that I think that Kilian won't be the last niche brand acquisition they do this year.

      • sjg3839 | 25th February 2016 19:27

        Interested in seeing how that turns out.

      • NosyNose | 25th February 2016 19:31

        Are you saying Estee Lauder controls Tom Ford's products like Tobacco Vanille?

      • Oviatt | 25th February 2016 19:37

        Exactly right--this from their Q2 earnings release: In fragrance, the sales increase primarily reflected strong double-digit gains from luxury brands Jo Malone London and Tom Ford and incremental sales from recent acquisitions. The sales growth is attributable to new product launches and expanded distribution.

        Higher net sales from Jo Malone London were due to expanded distribution in department stores and the travel retail channel, the launch of Mimosa & Cardamom, and strong growth from existing fragrances. Increased sales from Tom Ford were primarily due to the success of the Tom Ford Noir line of fragrances.

        Fragrance operating income increased, reflecting higher results from luxury fragrance brands, partially offset by lower results from Estée Lauder.

      • NosyNose | 25th February 2016 19:57

        I'm sorry to post this, but was that a response to my post?

      • hitman | 25th February 2016 19:58

        Interesting in fact. Bigger businesses cannot be managed with smaller thoughts.

      • Roky | 25th February 2016 20:14

        ... down the line ... in 2026 ... there might be a Tauer fragrance called "Last Survivor" ... :-)

        Joking a bit, but totally agree with the positive viewpoints on this. I much respect Lauder.

      • NosyNose | 25th February 2016 20:15

        Could you expand on your opinions of Jo is available in my area, but I don't know the line at all.

        A rep told me they are big on layering.

        I am not a fan of Cool Water or Creed GIT, Sauvage,...what I think are defined as "fresh."

        I love complex and different scents, as long as they're not a punch in the face like 24 Gold or Black Afgano.

        I like Spice Bomb (mostly the dry-down, the opening is kinda cheap), Creed VIW, Creed Aventus opening but not the dry down, and some Theirry Mugler, if those ideas help you at all. I'm still kinda a newbie, but am looking for new things to try out that are not mainstream that don't have the "mall malt," as I call it. Respond if ya can, thanks.

      • Oviatt | 25th February 2016 21:11

        There is a lot of wealth created when companies are bought up--Penot, Hennessy and Malone have presumably made millions as a result of these acquisitions. Of course, they may have had investors with an exit strategy but regardless of that, instead of always pointing the finger at the big, bad corporate buyer, some of the blame must be put at the feet of Fabrice, Jo, Kilian, etc. for selling out. Estee Lauder is doing something very smart which they would not be able to do without the complicity of its "partners."

      • mikeperez23 | 25th February 2016 21:11

        I actually thought that By Killian *was* under the LVMH umbrella. Wow was I wrong.

      • naylor | 25th February 2016 21:46

        Great reply, and I totally agree with all your points..

      • naylor | 25th February 2016 21:47

        Yes, EL has owned Tom Ford's fragrance line since its inception.

      • Renaissance_Man | 25th February 2016 23:27

        Completely agree with the sell out comment. EL is one of the better companies when it comes to quality but still all these large corporations taking over everything is not good. It's like big banks. I understand that's the real world and in the end it's about business and smaller owners see an opportunity, etc etc. But it's a little heartbreaking. Who's next Tauer?

      • Francolino | 26th February 2016 17:29

        actually I always considered Killian's outings rather mainstream, this is no surprise the whole "niche2 label is what it is just a label and a very abstract marketing concept..having said that I like stuff from Killian just like stuff from dior.....

      • DrJeff | 26th February 2016 17:45

        Layering = more product

        More product = more sales

        Rinse and repeat as necessary

      • Shifty Bat | 29th February 2016 07:38

        One of the most interesting books I have ever read is called, "So You Wanna Be a Rock and Roll Star" by Jacob Slichter, drummer for the band Semisonic. It gruesomely details the effects of record company ownership changing hands and what it means to the bands under that label. This is how I feel about fragrance acquisitions; it never seems to get better. All the love and creativity of the original parent is suddenly replaced by a new, sterile team of indifferent money mongers.