French personal care giant L’Oréal has paid 2.3 billion euros for the Australian skincare brand Aesop. This way, it wants to improve its access to the huge Chinese market.
Largest acquisition to date
The 2.3 billion is not only the second largest sum ever paid for an Australian consumer brand, but also the largest acquisition in L’Oréal’s history, Reuters reports.
L’Oréal is buying Aesop from Brazilian group Natura & Co, which is restructuring due to declining margins and heavy debt. Natura plans to focus more on its Latin American business, home shopping brand Avon and The Body Shop. In 2017, Natura & Co had bought The Body Shop from L’Oréal for one billion euros.
Aesop turned out to be a goldmine: it was Natura’s most profitable brand, according to Reuters. The skin, hair and body care brand has nearly 400 shops and recorded sales of 537 million dollars in 2022, a growth of 21 %. Since last year, the brand has also been present in China, where it immediately exceeded expectations. L’Oréal therefore plans to develop Aesop mainly in travel retail and in China.