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Natura &Co to Sell The Body Shop to Aurelius in a $254 Million Deal

Published November 16, 2023
Published November 16, 2023
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Munich-based private equity firm Aurelius bought ethical beauty retailer The Body Shop from Brazilian beauty conglomerate Natura &Co in a £207 million ($254 million) deal. This follows the divestment of Australian beauty brand Aesop to L'Oréal earlier this year in a $2.5 billion deal.

WHO: Founded in 1976 by the late businesswoman and human rights activist Anita Roddick and her husband Gordon, The Body Shop pioneered ethical consumerism and argued that business could be a force for good. Today, The Body Shop has 10,000 employees across 3,000 stores in about 70 countries and sells skincare, body care, and haircare products.

Natura &Co is a global purpose-driven group uniting Natura, Avon, and The Body Shop. The company connects more than 200 million clients worldwide, engaging them through 7 million dedicated consultants and representatives, 2,000 stores and franchises, and 30,000 employees.

Aurelius is a globally active alternative investment group, distinguished and widely recognized for its operational approach. Its key investment platforms are the fund Aurelius European Opportunities IV and the listed Aurelius Equity Opportunities SE & Co. KGaA.

Aurelius focuses on private equity, private debt, and real estate and is a renowned specialist for complex investments with operative improvement potentials such as corporate carve-outs, platform build-ups, or succession solutions, as well as specialized financing solutions.

WHY: The divestment represents a further retreat from global ambitions and a need to cut costs for Natura after a push for international expansion in the last decade, snapping up The Body Shop followed by Avon Products for $2 billion in 2019. Natura will refocus its strategic priorities, accelerating the integration of the Natura and Avon brands in Latin America and expanding Avon International.

IN THEIR OWN WORDS: 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."

Ian Bickley, CEO 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."

"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," comments Tristan Nagler, Partner at Aurelius.

DETAILS:

  • Private equity firm Aurelius bought The Body Shop from Natura &Co in a £207 million ($254 million) deal.
  • The deal includes £90 million ($111.4 million) earnout embedded in the sales price, which is conditional on the business hitting performance targets. This means the immediate payout Natura will receive would value The Body Shop at about two times last year's EBITDA.
  • The collapse in valuation follows a long period of poor sales for The Body Shop, which pulled in R$4.4 billion (£724 million) in revenue last year, down 24% from 2021.
  • Encumbered by a heavy mall footprint in the US, The Body Shop has struggled with profitability, posting six consecutive quarters of losses. Sales fell by 12% in the second quarter of 2023.
  • L'Oréal sold The Body Shop to Natura &Co in 2017 in a $1.1 billion deal.
  • Anita Roddick sold The Body Shop to L'Oréal in 2006 for $1.14 billion.
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