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L'Oréal Scoops up Aesop in $2.5 Billion Deal

Published April 4, 2023
Published April 4, 2023

After months of speculation, L’Oréal has entered into an agreement to acquire Australian luxury personal care Aesop from the Brazilian beauty conglomerate Natura &Co. The transaction would value Aesop at a more than $2.53 billion enterprise value and is L’Oréal's biggest acquisition on record.

WHO: Aesop was founded in Melbourne, Australia, in 1987 by hairdresser Dennis Paphitis, and has amassed a cult following for its minimal aesthetic and unhurried approach to beauty. The brand provides efficacious and sensorial products across multiple beauty and wellness categories, including hair, body, skin, home, and fragrance. The brand has nearly 400 stores worldwide across 27 markets, all purpose-built for the location.

Natura &Co is a global, purpose-driven, multichannel, and multi-brand cosmetics group that includes Avon, Natura, The Body Shop, and Aesop. The four companies that form the group are committed to generating positive economic, social, and environmental impact.

For over 110 years, L'Oréal has been the world's leading beauty player with a broad portfolio of 35 international brands and ambitious sustainability commitments. The business has 85,400 committed employees, a balanced geographical footprint, and sales across all distribution networks. With 20 research centers across 11 countries worldwide and a dedicated Research and Innovation team of over 4,000 scientists and 3,000 tech professionals, L'Oréal is focused on inventing the future of beauty and becoming a beauty tech powerhouse.

WHY: Natura had been mulling a partial or total sale of Aesop as part of a broader overhaul to simplify the company’s structure and cut costs undertaken by Fabio Barbosa, who took over as Chief Executive Officer last year. The deal will help the Brazilian beauty giant reduce its debt burden and focus on turning around other businesses.

IN THEIR OWN WORDS: Fabio Barbosa, Chief Executive Officer of Natura &Co, said, "The divestment of Aesop marks a new development cycle for Natura &Co. With a strengthened financial structure and a deleveraged balance sheet, Natura &Co, exercising strict financial discipline, will be able to sharpen its focus on its strategic priorities, notably our investment plan in Latin America. We will also be able to concentrate on continuing to improve The Body Shop's business and refocusing Avon International's footprint. We are proud of the remarkable success of the Aesop brand, and we are extremely grateful to all Aesop's associates, who contributed immensely not only to Aesop's success, but also to making Natura &Co what it is today. We are confident that Aesop's growth story will continue under the ownership of L'Oréal and wish Aesop continued success in this new chapter." 

Nicolas Hieronimus, Chief Executive Officer of L'Oréal Groupe, said, "I am very excited to welcome Aesop and its teams to the L'Oréal Groupe family. Aesop is the epitome of avant-garde beauty, whose products are not only made with great care and exceptional attention to detail; they are a superb combination of urbanity, hedonism and undeniable luxury. Aesop taps into all of today's ascending currents and L'Oréal will contribute to unleash its massive growth potential, notably in China and Travel retail."

Michael O'Keefe, CEO of Aesop, added, "This is an exciting day for Aesop. With the support of Natura &Co, over the past decade, we have built Aesop into an admirable global force in the luxury beauty space, with a powerful product proposition and a unique customer and retail experience. We now enter the next phase of our development and I'm confident that with L'Oréal's partnership we will be able to bring our exceptional skincare products to even more people and continue to expand our brand globally. We thank Natura &Co for its support and are greatly looking forward to working with L'Oréal to continue our development, building on our distinctive brand and heritage."


  • Natura &Co said the purchase price will be paid in cash on closing, which is expected to occur in the third quarter of 2023.
  • Aesop will join the L’Oréal Luxe division, which also includes beauty brands such as Lancôme, Yves Saint Laurent, Helena Rubinstein, Kiehl’s, and Mugler.
  • Aesop reported revenue of 880 million reais ($256 million) for the fourth quarter, accounting for about 8% of Natura’s total net revenue, and was the group’s most profitable business.
  • Natura &Co purchased a 65% stake in the business in 2012 for $71.6 million and took that to 100% in December 2016. 
  • Morgan Stanley served as lead financial advisor, Bank of America as financial advisor, and Davis Polk & Wardwell as main legal advisor to Natura &Co.

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