Estée Lauder Now Owns DECIEM Beauty Group

With an $860 million cash payment this week, The Estée Lauder Companies Inc. (ELC) completed its $1.7 billion purchase of DECIEM Beauty Group, the revolutionary Canadian parent company of The Ordinary and other skincare brands.

The Toronto-based DECIEM, founded in 2013 as “The Abnormal Beauty Company,” joins other Estée Lauder global brand acquisitions including Clinique, Origins, M·A·C, Bobbi Brown Cosmetics, Aveda, Bumble and bumble, TOM FORD, Smashbox, Too Faced, and more.

According to ELC, the global corporation first invested in DECIEM in 2017, became a majority owner in 2021, and exercised its option this week to purchase the company’s remaining interests.

Founded by visionary entrepreneur Brandon Traxe, DECIEM became known for launching multiple skincare brands at once. Its cult favorite brand, The Ordinary, went viral in 2016 among skincare enthusiasts who raved about the products’ quality and affordability on Reddit, Instagram, and TikTok.

DECIEM today owns two brands, The Ordinary and NIOD, which stands for Non Invasive Options in Dermal Science.

The path to full acquisition hasn’t been smooth. As a minority investor, ELC took legal action against Truaxe in 2018 amid his public mental health battles, after he sent hostile emails to corporate executives and made erratic and inflammatory posts on social media.

The judge in that case ousted him as company CEO, appointing former DECIEM executive Nicola Kilner to the position. Truaxe died in 2019 in a fall from his Toronto condominium building.   

"Today The Estée Lauder Companies becomes the forever home of DECIEM,” Kilner says after the purchase. “Our founder Brandon set out to disrupt the world of beauty, and this thinking has been embraced by ELC over the past seven years of our partnership.

“Their support, along with the energy of our incredibly talented team, has allowed us to strengthen our operational capabilities and enter new markets, while staying true to our founding values of transparency, quality, and authenticity."