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Tom Ford on the carpet at the 2021 CFDA Awards in New York on November 10, 2021. Photo: Reuters

Luxury brand Tom Ford hires Goldman Sachs to explore potential sale that could be valued in the billions of dollars

  • A deal could value the company at several billion dollars, according to people familiar with the matter
  • The deal could may include an option that gives the new owner the right to work with its founder after the sale, the people said

Tom Ford, the luxury brand founded by the former long-time creative director for Gucci, is exploring a potential sale, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

Tom Ford is working with investment bank Goldman Sachs on the effort, said the people, who asked to not be identified because the matter isn’t public.

A deal could value the company at several billion dollars and may include an option that would give any new owner of Tom Ford the right to work with its founder after the sale, one of the people said.

No final decision has been made and Tom Ford could still opt to remain independent.

(L to R) Anna Wintour, Tom Ford, and Nicole Kidman attended the Costume Institute Benefit Gala sponsored by Gucci on April 28, 2003 at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Photo: Gucci via Getty Images

A representative for Tom Ford couldn’t immediately be reached for comment. A spokesperson for Goldman declined to comment.

Luxury brands have been facing rising manufacturing and logistics costs as inflation hits and energy prices surge. Lockdowns in China, a key market for luxury spending, have also curtailed growth.

A photo of young Tom Ford. Photo: @SerpensRubrum/Twitter

While inflation dampens everyday spending, especially for US consumers, higher-end goods tend to be less affected unless a prolonged bear market hits the wealthy, said David Swartz, an equity analyst at Morningstar Research.

“The reality is that we’ve been in a bull market until really recently and wealthy people are generally in better shape even with the market downturn,” he said. “I don’t hear a lot of concerns about luxury consumption.”

Ford, an Austin, Texas, native started his namesake company in 2005, a year after leaving Gucci, which he revitalised during a decade-long stint as creative director.

Daniel Craig as James Bond a suit designed by Tom Ford. Photo: DANJAC, LLC and MGM

The company started as a apparel brand focused on luxury menswear. All its suits were licensed to and produced by recently public Ermenegildo Zegna Holditalia until the Fall and Winter 2022 collection, when the exclusive rights expire, Zegna’s annual report showed. Zegna will continue to produce some Tom Ford products starting next season.

Tom Ford sells eyewear produced and distributed by Marcolin SpA, as well as beauty and fragrance licensed to Estee Lauder Cos. The brand’s offerings also include accessories such as watches and small leather goods.

Domenico De Sole, the former president and chief executive officer of Gucci, was an early partner to Ford and serves as chairman of the company.

Ford debuted as a filmmaker in 2009 with the movie “A Single Man” starring Colin Firth and Julianne Moore.