Estee Lauder buys L.A.'s Smashbox Cosmetics


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Los Angeles-based makeup company Smashbox is joining MAC and Bobbi Brown under the umbrella of parent company Estee Lauder.

The Estee Lauder Cos. announced Monday that it has signed an agreement to acquire Smashbox Beauty Cosmetics Inc. — a deal expected to close in July.


Founded by Dean and Davis Factor, the great-grandsons of iconic Hollywood makeup artist Max Factor, Smashbox sprang up as a photo studio company in 1996 — and its Culver City compound went on to host the seasonal IMG fashion shows in L.A., starting in 2002, before IMG pulled out of L.A. altogether in 2009.

In 1999, the Factors launched the Smashbox cosmetics line, which is now carried in most major department stores, along with beauty chains including Ulta and Sephora.

According to Women’s Wear Daily, the company generates roughly $80 million in wholesale net revenue and roughly $140 million in retail sales. It’s speculated that the sale price ‘ranged between $200 million and $300 million,’ according to WWD.

--Emili Vesilind