British ethical beauty brand The Body Shop has been sold by Brazilian beauty group Natura &Co to international private equity group Aurelius for 207 million pounds.
Natura &Co said the move to sell the retailer would allow the beauty group “to simplify and refocus its operations,” and allow it to accelerate the integration of the Natura and Avon brands in Latin America, focusing on its core relationship selling model and further optimising Avon International's footprint.
The Body Shop’s new owner Aurelius, which has experience in the retail sector through its investments in omni-channel fashion and sportswear retailer Footasylum, said it will work with the London-based beauty brand’s management team to help drive "operational excellence" across the business, leveraging its expertise and experience in the omnichannel retail and wholesale markets.
Aurelius added in a statement that it 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.
Aurelius acquires The Body Shop from Natura &Co
Ian Bickley, chief executive of The Body Shop, said: “Today, 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. With a presence in over 80 countries, 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, founded in 1976 by Anita Roddick, is headquartered in London and employs around 7,000 staff, and 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 brand’s key products include natural ingredient-based bath and body, skincare, fragrance, hair care, make-up and gifting.
Under Natura's ownership since 2017, The Body Shop has undergone an overhaul of its product portfolio and a rejuvenation of the brand, notably through a more contemporary redesign of its stores, with the ‘Changemaking Workshop’ that enhanced stores and customer experience worldwide, as well as the introduction of a refills service.
Commenting on the acquisition, Tristan Nagler, partner at Aurelius, added: “We are delighted to be undertaking this acquisition of an iconic British brand, which pioneered the cruelty-free and natural ingredient movement in the health and beauty market.
“We look forward to working with CEO Ian Bickley and his team to drive operational improvements and re-energise the business, and help to deliver the next chapter of success.”
The transaction is expected to close in December, subject to approval by the relevant competition and regulatory authorities. On top of the purchase price of 207 million pounds, Natura is also in line for a 90 million pounds "earn-out" from The Body Shop's revenues over the next five years.
Fabio Barbosa, chief executive officer of Natura &Co, said: "With the sale of The Body Shop, we are taking another important step in Natura &Co's new development cycle to unlock significant value. Refocused, deleveraged and leaner, Natura &Co will now be able to fully concentrate on its core relationship selling expertise in Latin America while also continuing the optimization of Avon International's footprint and investing in initiatives and innovations that positively impact people and the planet.
"We are pleased to have found a strong home for The Body Shop to write the next chapter in its remarkable story, and we extend our sincerest thanks to all The Body Shop's associates, who contributed immensely to broadening Natura &Co's horizons. We wish them continued success under the stewardship of Aurelius."