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Potential $2 Billion Bidding War for Stake in Aesop

Published January 30, 2023
Published January 30, 2023
Raygar He via Unsplash

LVMH, L'Oréal, and Shiseido are among the conglomerates weighing an offer to take a stake in Aesop in a deal that may value the brand at over $2 billion, according to reporting by Bloomberg. In 2022, CVC Capital Partners and L'Occitane International were also reported to be potential suitors.

In October of 2022, Natura &Co said it was assessing options to unlock value at Aesop, including a possible IPO or spinoff in an effort to restore investor confidence. In December 2022, market conditions saw Natura &Co change course, working with Bank of America and Morgan Stanley to sell a minority stake in the business.

Brazilian beauty multinational Natura &Co acquired a 65% stake in the Australian personal care company in 2012 for $71.6 million. At the time, the Melbourne-based brand operated more than 60 stores in 11 countries and generated $67.4 million in sales. In 2016, Natura & Co exercised its purchase options to acquire the remaining 35% of the business, having grown the company to 177 stores in 20 countries and opening 84 points of distribution in department stores.

In Q3 2022, Aesop's net revenue increased by 21.5%, with all regions except Europe seeing double-digit growth. The business continues to consistently post like-for-like sales growth while continuing to roll out new stores. Q3-adjusted EBITDA margin was 16.8%, -280 bps compared to Q3 2021, mainly due to planned higher investments for future sustainable growth, including preparations for China entry by the end of the year.

Talks are ongoing, and according to people close to the deal, there is no certainty they will result in a deal.


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