The Body Shop has a new owner, as its (former) Brazilian owner Natura & Co has sold its sustainable cosmetics chain to German investment fund Aurelius Group.
Only six years ago, Natura had paid a billion euros for the British chain, but now it is letting the activist beauty chain go for just 207 million pounds. The retailer had been struggling with disappointing results for some time and had officially been for sale since August – although there had been speculation about a possible sale for much longer.
The new owner, Aurelius Group, also operates fashion chain Footasylum and pharmacy chain LloydsPharmacy. The fund says it invests in opportunities rather than specific sectors, and certainly sees opportunities for The Body Shop: operational improvements should allow the brand to capitalise on positive trends in the fast-growing beauty market, the press release claims.
Founded in 1976 by environmental and animal rights activist Anita Roddick, The Body Shop was a forerunner in corporate social responsibility. The brand does not test its products on animals and seeks fair partnerships with farmers and suppliers. The London-based retailer employs 7,000 people, has more than 900 company-owned shops in twenty countries and also around 1,600 franchise shops in another 69 markets.