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Natura & Co considers sale of The Body Shop

Lauretta Roberts
29 August 2023

Natura & Co, the Brazilian owner of The Body Shop, has revealed it is exploring strategic options for the UK-founded beauty chain, including a potential sale of the business.

In a brief statement released to investors, Natura & Co said its board had "recently authorised its management to explore strategic alternatives for The Body Shop, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Natura, which may include a potential sale of this business.

"There can be no assurance that this process will result in any transaction. Natura does not intend to comment on or provide updates regarding this matter unless and until it determines that further disclosure is appropriate or required based on the then-current facts and circumstances."

Analysts, who place a value on the business of in excess of £400 million, believe a sale is the likely outcome of the process since the announcement comes shortly after Natura & Co divested Aēsop to L'Oréal, for approximately £1.81 billion. The deal was agreed in April and completed earlier this month.

Founded in 1976, The Body Shop was the brainchild of responsible beauty and retail entrepreneur, the late Dame Anita Roddick. It was a pioneer of cruelty free cosmetics and refillable packaging, decades before they became mainstream business trends.

In 2006, at the height of its success, The Body Shop was acquired by L'Oréal. However, over the next 11 years, the business failed to thrive. It was then acquired by its current owner Natura & Co in 2017, which sought to re-establish some of the values upon which the business was founded, such as refillable packaging.

Natura & Co recently revamped its stores and relaunched its cosmetics line but, despite this, the business has been a drag on the Brazilian group's results and has posted six consecutive quarters of losses. In Q2 2023 The Body Shop posted quarterly sales down -12.5% year-on-year and its CEO Ian Bickley said it was "fundamentally reassessing every aspect of its business" from distribution to product and marketing. 

The company said it was also working on "structural cost reduction and strict cost containment measures to drive a culture of cost discipline throughout the organisation".

As well as The Body Shop, Natura & Co owns the Natura and Avon brands.

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