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The Body Shop acquired by Aurelius in £207m deal

Sophie Smith
14 November 2023

Brazilian beauty group Natura & Co has agreed to sell The Body Shop to private equity firm Aurelius, after struggling to improve the brand's performance. 

The move will see Aurelius work with The Body Shop's management team to help drive "operational excellence" across the business, leveraging its expertise and experience in the omnichannel retail and wholesale markets.

Aurelius believes that, despite the challenging retail market, there is an opportunity to "re-energise" the business and enable it to take advantage of positive trends in the high-growth beauty market.

The transaction is expected to close in December 2023, subject to approval by the relevant competition and regulatory authorities.

Ian Bickley, CEO of The Body Shop, said: “We celebrate a truly historic moment for The Body Shop as we join forces with Aurelius to begin a new chapter, allowing us to continue building the relevancy of this global brand for future generations.

"The Body Shop is not only a beauty brand, but also an iconic social business that has captured hearts in nearly every corner of the world. We are deeply grateful to Natura &Co for their unwavering support and I'm looking forward to working hand-in-hand with Aurelius as we adapt and flourish in new global retail environments, always with an eye on sustainable and profitable growth.”

The Body Shop, which is headquartered in London and employs around 7,000 staff, has operations in 89 markets with over 900 company-owned stores in 20 countries and partnerships with head franchisees who operate approximately 1,600 franchised stores in a further 69 geographies.

The news comes after Natura & Co said it was exploring strategic options for the brand earlier this year, including the potential sale of the British business.

The Body Shop

The Body Shop first opened in a little green-painted shop in Brighton.

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 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 the brand's stores and relaunched its cosmetics line but, despite this, the business has been a drag on the Brazilian group's results.

In a recent trading update Natura & Co reported a 10.5% decline in net revenue to £1.2 billion (BRL 7.5 billion) for the third quarter ending 30 August 2023.

Net revenue at The Body Shop dropped 15%, with combined sales of core business distribution channels (stores, e-commerce and franchise) also down.

Avon International, which includes all markets except Latin America, saw net revenue drop 11.6%. It comes as Avon plans to open its first stores in the UK as the business makes a major push into bricks-and-mortar retailing.

The group's adjusted EBITDA margin totalled 10%, up 190 bps against the same period last year, reflecting improving margins across all business units.

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