The Estée Lauder Cos. Inc. said on Sunday it is not for sale.
A memo from its executive chairman William P. Lauder and president and chief executive officer Fabrizio Freda said: “We are aware of recent press that speculates that the Estée Lauder Companies may be in discussions regarding a potential sale or merger. There is no truth to these rumors. The Estée Lauder Companies is not for sale.”
The memo, sent to company colleagues via e-mail, also said the Lauder family and the company’s board “place great value in remaining independent. Our company is strong and we have excellent momentum going forward.”
Lauder and Freda also asked recipients of the e-mail to “cascade this information to your respective teams.”
Rumblings earlier in the week had the company in talks with Unilever, even though a takeover seemed unlikely given that the Lauder family controls 87 percent of the company’s stock, and the company is performing better than ever as evidenced by recent positive results and a broader boom in the prestige beauty industry.
There was also speculation that L’Oréal might be interested. A report in The Sunday Times said Goldman Sachs and Evercore had been contracted to shop Estée Lauder around.
Its brands include MAC Cosmetics, Smashbox, Becca, Bobbi Brown and La Mer.
For its most recent fiscal year, the company’s net earnings rose 12 percent to $1.25 billion on a 5 percent gain in sales to $11.82 billion.
Shares of Estée Lauder have been trading at all-time high levels, reaching a peak of $107.91 following its latest earnings report. Shares closed at $105.96, down 0.5 percent, in trading on Monday.