Gowling WLG serves as co-counsel to DECIEM in landmark Estée Lauder deal

10 March 2021

Gowling WLG recently served as co-counsel to science-first Canadian cosmetics company DECIEM, in a deal that saw Estée Lauder Companies Inc. significantly increase its ownership of the company.

The transaction, which involves Estée Lauder's stake increasing from 29 to 76%, is expected to close by June 30, 2021. Estée Lauder, one of the most recognizable names in the global cosmetics industry, has also agreed to purchase the remaining interests in DECIEM after a three-year period.

"DECIEM is a unique Canadian business success story. The degree to which it has changed, disrupted, and succeeded in the beauty industry has been both staggering and profound," said Cara Stoller, who led a multifaceted legal team from Gowling WLG on the deal. Her day-to-day practice focuses on assisting businesses in the areas of mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance, and general corporate matters.

"The unique role that our firm played in supporting DECIEM through this transaction revolved around being a conduit to ensure that the 'abnormal' cultural and operational elements of our client were understood, respected, and absorbed properly into the M&A negotiations and terms," she added.

Also known as the Abnormal Beauty Company, DECIEM is multi-brand company founded in 2013 by the late Brandon Truaxe. Launched with just one product, the company now boasts a portfolio of more than 50 products offered in 15 markets. In the cosmetics industry, it's known as a true disruptor with a consumer-focused approach.

Since Estée Lauder's initial investment in DECIEM in 2017, the company has grown rapidly. Ultimately, the amount to be paid at closing is approximately $1B USD, reflecting a total enterprise value of approximately $2.2B USD.

In addition to Stoller, the Gowling WLG team included Eric Macramalla, Erin Farrell, Laura Gomez, JP Powers, Selena Kim, Paul Carenza, Jodey Therriault, Ian Macdonald, René Bissonnette, Aliana Dhanani, and Quinn Clement-Schlimm.

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