Waterstones owner Elliott Advisors in the running to buy The Body Shop
The owner of Waterstones is among the bidders circling The Body Shop after its owner Natura & Co announced a potential sale of the business last month.
Elliott Advisors is understood to have tabled an indicative bid for the beauty brand in recent weeks, according to Sky News.
The news outlet said that Morgan Stanley is managing the sale process and hopes to reach a provisional agreement by the end of October.
It comes after Natura & Co said it was exploring strategic options for the brand, including a potential sale of the business.
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 the brand's stores and relaunched its cosmetics line but, despite this, the business has been a drag on the Brazilian group's results. For the second quarter, The Body Shop posted a 12% decrease in net revenue.
As well as The Body Shop, Natura & Co owns the Natura and Avon brands. Earlier this, the group sold Aesop to L'Oréal for £1.81 billion.