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Aurelius paid just £3.5 million for The Body Shop

Sophie Smith
30 April 2024

Aurelius, the private equity owner of The Body Shop, is understood to have paid just £3.5 million upfront for the business before its collapse into administration.

Despite agreeing to a £207 million deal for The Body Shop last year, The Telegraph today revealed that Aurelius has only handed over a small sum of cash to the brand's former owner, Natura & Co.

The shortfall comes primarily from a £90 million performance-based payment that Aurelius was expected to pay over five years - a sum that is now unlikely to be paid to the Brazilian beauty group given the British brand was placed into administration in February.

The Body Shop's collapse has prompted questions over how much Natura will receive from Aurelius beyond the £3.5 million it was paid.

The newspaper said this is to likely provoke tensions further between the two companies, after Natura previously criticised Aurelius for failing to pay millions of pounds to around 30 former employees.

The £207 million sale price was the enterprise value of The Body Shop, which considered things such as debts taken on by Aurelius through the takeover. As such, the private equity firm was not obliged to pay that sum in full to Natura.

However, the revelation that just £3.5 million changed hands is likely to spark questions about the circumstances surrounding the deal.

The news follows previous controversy around the takeover, following The Body Shop's collapse into administration shortly after its change in ownership, leading to hundreds of job losses with taxpayers understood to be covering the redundancy bill.

The concerns led to MPs calling for a deeper review into what went wrong at The Body Shop, which was first founded by Dame Anita Roddick in 1976.

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