MILAN — Estée Lauder and Missoni are said to be in the late stages of signing a joint worldwide beauty pact.

Neither Lauder nor Missoni — whose executives are currently in Japan to promote their 50th anniversary celebrations — would comment on the deal. However, according to industry reports, the two companies are talking about launching a fragrance at the beginning of 2005.

Missoni is reported to have finished their search for a new agreement for their beauty arm. In the early Eighties, Missoni had a fragrance business, Missoni Profumi/ SpA, via a licensing deal with Max Factor. Their first women’s fragrance launched in September of 1981. By the late Eighties, Missoni fragrances were produced and distributed by the Paris-based Orlane.

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