Private equity firm Aurelius is currently holding talks to potentially acquire The Body Shop from Brazilian beauty company Natura & Co., which the brand bought from L’Oréal in 2017 for more than £1 billion.
The deal, if successful, is expected to value the beauty brand lower than the rumored £400 million to £500 million range, according to sources familiar with the matter.
Just over a year ago, Aurelius also bought streetwear and sportswear chain Footasylum from JD Sports Fashion after the company was ordered to sell the business by Chinese regulators. Aurelius is also the owner of Lloyds Pharmacy group, which it acquired from U.S.-based McKesson Corporation.
The news comes nearly two months after Natura’s board of directors authorized the company to search for “strategic alternatives” for the Body Shop, including a potential sale.
Some of the other companies that were in the race to acquire The Body Shop included private equity firm Epiris and Elliott Advisors, the owner of bookseller Waterstones, and Alteri Investors, according to Sky News.
The Body Shop today employs nearly 10,000 people across some 3,000 store locations in 70 countries. In recent years, the brand’s business has diminished amidst rising competition from emerging brands, who have been successful at selling their sustainability quotient to younger shoppers.