Pure Beauty

HMV owner mulls bid to buy The Body Shop out of administration

By Amanda Pauley | Published: 11-Mar-2024

Billionaire Doug Putman is rumoured to be considering a rescue bid for the retailer after its US and Canadian arms filed for bankruptcy

HMV owner Doug Putman is allegedly mulling a bid for The Body Shop as the beauty company’s US and Canada operations file for bankruptcy.

The Canadian billionaire has reportedly contacted the cosmetic retailer’s administrators with a view to potentially buying the business, according to The Telegraph

However, a formal bid has not been put on the table yet, reported the publication.

Rumours of a rescue bid come after The Body Shop’s US and Canadian arms both collapsed into administration over the weekend. 

The retailer’s US business filed for Chapter 7 insolvency in North America on 9 March, under which its assets are to be sold off to clear debts.

It has stopped trading at 50 outlets, putting around 400 jobs at risk.

This includes roles at a distribution centre which holds millions of dollars worth of stock.

In Canada, 33 of the cosmetic retailer’s 105 shops have also closed, with reported job losses of more than 200.

The future of The Body Shop’s Australian and New Zealand operations are uncertain due to financial difficulties, according to The Guardian.

The business is rumoured to be struggling with cash shortages following its UK parent’s collapse into administration last month, reported the publication.

75 of The Body Shop’s UK stores are to be shuttered, said administrators FRP Advisory, with 116 remaining open as part of its restructuring plans. 

The administrators are allegedly investigating claims that millions of pounds were taken out of the business before its collapse into administration.

The Body Shop’s Denmark arm also filed for bankruptcy in February, with 15 stores closing. 

Putman owns toy giant Toys ‘R’ Us in Canada and music retail chain Sunrise Records.

The 39-year-old also owns the British music and entertainment retailer HMV, which he returned to profit after rescuing it from administration in 2019.

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