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No Shortage of Suitors for The Body Shop

Published October 10, 2023
Published October 10, 2023

What a difference a year makes. Late last year, Natura &Co denied rumors of a potential sale of The Body Shop. After another quarter of declining sales, the Brazilian beauty conglomerate is considering “strategic alternatives” for the business. 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. 

In an August Securities and Exchange Commission filing, the company disclosed that its board of directors recently authorized management to explore strategic alternatives for The Body Shop, which may include a potential sale of this business. On the release of the filing, analysts at J.P. Morgan wrote due to the Aesop divestment and the company's high focus on Latin America, a sale of The Body Shop could be valued at 2.5 billion reais ($511 million).

The Lloyds Pharmacy chain; Aurelius Group, a pan-European alternative investment firm; private equity firm Epiris; and Elliott Advisors (which owns Waterstones), are among the businesses eyeing The Body Shop. Natura & Co has set a final deadline for offers to buy The Body Shop with interested parties having until 23 October to submit their bids. The deadline was set after no formal offers were made during the initial round of non-binding bids that ended on 11 September. Morgan Stanley the in investment banking firm working with Natura & Co, has set the ultimatum to speed up the sale process.

However, Natura said in the August filing, “There can be no assurance that this process will result in any transaction. Natura does not intend to comment on or provide updates regarding this matter unless and until it determines that further disclosure is appropriate or required based on the then-current facts and circumstances.”

The Body Shop was founded in 1976 by the late environmentalist Anita Roddick and her husband Gordon, who pioneered the concept of ethical consumerism. Today The Body Shop has 10,000 employees across 3,000 stores in about 70 countries. L'Oréal bought the brand in 2006 for $1.14 billion and sold it to Natura &Co in 2017 in a $1.1 billion deal.


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