BUTTERING UP?: Reports circulating around the market indicate the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc. is in early talks to possibly acquire the indie cosmetics brand Butter London. Founded as a nail enamel line in 2005 by British entrepreneur Sasha Muir and manicurist Nonie Creme, Butter has since expanded into a range of lip, eye and cheek color, which launched in August at Ulta and on butterlondon.com. Earlier this year, Butter London’s chief executive officer Leslie Freytag claimed it to be the number-two brand in the prestige nail color category, just behind Chanel.

Lauder executives declined to comment. Meanwhile at Butter London in Seattle, Freytag said, “With small companies like ours, there always seems to be rumors. At this point, we don’t have any comment.”

This story first appeared in the November 12, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

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