LAUDER SAID CLOSING IN ON OFFERING

NEW YORK--Cosmetics giant Estee Lauder Cos. could be moving a step closer to going public, according to market reports.
Goldman Sachs & Co. is said to be the lead underwriter for a possible Lauder issue.
Talk of a public issue has been circulating for some time, but, according to the latest reports, the move could be "imminent." Executives at Lauder and Goldman could not be reached for comment. Talk of going public first surfaced in 1993, when the Lauder family had a dispute with the Internal Revenue Service over the value of private Lauder stock. At that time, sources said that the firm's best option in the future would be to go public, thereby establishing the value of individual shares.
But in a July interview, Leonard Lauder, president and chief executive officer, declined to comment on recent speculation.

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