Estee Lauder's family sell shares to pay estate taxes

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Three Lauder family trusts are selling up to 13 million shares in
Estee Lauder stock to pay a huge bill for estate taxes following
the death last month of the company's founder.

When the founder of Estee Lauder​ died on 24 April 2004, the multi-billionaire businesswoman left behind not only a legacy as one of America's most successful entrepreneurs, but also a huge estate tax bill of around US$55 million (€46 m).

The company has announced that three family trusts are selling the shares to provide funds to pay estate taxes and other obligations. They will sell 11.3 million shares, worth around US$500 million (€416 m) at current prices, with an option to sell an additional 1.7 million shares.

If all 13 million shares are sold, Lauder family members will still own about 45.5 per cent of the stock and nearly 90 per cent of the combined voting power, Estee Lauder said.

Estee Lauder began making skin-care products in her home in 1930. When she died, aged 97, last month, her company was registering annual sales of more than US$5 billion (€4 bn).

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