Is this goodbye or hello? On May 31, a majority stake in Byredo was sold to Puig in a deal reportedly worth €1 billion (about $1.07 billion).
This is the end of a saga that began developing in earnest by late May, when rumors told of French beauty juggernaut L'oreal acquiring Byredo; Byredo obsessives were, accordingly, tilted.
A Puig representative confirmed the Byredo acquisition to Highsnobiety, though offered no comment about the rumored sale price.
Since it was founded in 2006 by Ben Gorham, Byredo has expanded from fragrances and leather accessories into a comprehensive collection of makeup, candles, and even wearables, issuing premium sunglasses and clothing through its By-Product sub-brand.
Quirky projects like a speaker-inspired diffuser and scented lamp have underscored Byredo's indifference towards the typical oeuvre expected of the average beauty label.
In fact, its output is so varied that Byredo better fits into the "lifestyle" category.
By blazing its own trail, Byredo stood tall as a fearless innovator, aided by a majority investment from Manzanita Capital in 2013, which relinquished its hold to Puig as part of the new deal.
And, like any contemporary trailblazer, it became a go-to partner for big-name collaborators, from Virgil Abloh and IKEA to L'Art de L'Automobile and Our Legacy.
Puig, meanwhile, has established itself as a faithful translator for luxury labels seeking to enter the scent space, like Christian Louboutin and COMME des GARÇONS.
It also has a majority stake in fashion labels Dries Van Noten and Jean Paul Gaultier, so Byredo's all-encompassing purview is nothing unfamiliar to Puig.
In fact, it ought to give aficionados a sense of relief, as Van Noten's brand as only gotten better and better over the years.
"Puig will contribute our expertise and resources to the development of this unique brand, which represents modern luxury with a strong consumer connection,” Marc Puig, Puig Chairman and CEO, said in a statement.
"I really believe that Puig’s experience with founder-led brands in beauty and fashion will help us realize our full potential in multiple categories," Gorham continued. "Puig has demonstrated a competitive and disruptive approach to building business – something that truly resonates with the culture that is Byredo."
It's a good time to be Byredo, which has enjoyed massive growth over the past few years, nearly doubling its pre-pandemic profits according to analysts over the past year.
Puig isn't doing too shabby itself, touting €2.5 billion in revenue for 2021, a 68% increase over 2020 that gives the Spanish conglomerate the confidence to declare estimated revenue of over €3 billion for 2022.
The question is less about Puig being financially savvy enough to handle Byredo, though, and more about what this means for fans of Gorham's brand.
Last week's acquisition rumors already had Byredo die-hards in a tizzy, though the news that reliable Puig is involved ought to soothe some concerns.
Like Anti Social Social Club's corporate acquisition, Byredo's new structure may involve relatively hands-off management, with the new owner focused only on using its deep pockets to expand the reach of its new brand.
"Puig will continue supporting the development of the brand, boosting and nurturing its current positioning," the statement continued, hinting that not much will change. After all, Gorham has only held a minority stake in Byredo since that Manzanita purchase in 2013.
As Byredo has basically been selling itself the past several years on the strength of its insider-y ad campaigns and millennial-coveted product, a backseat approach for Puig would be most wise.