Pure Beauty

M&S and Next eyeing rescue deal for The Body Shop

By Alessandro Carrara | Published: 28-May-2024

The Body Shop’s UK and German businesses collapsed into administration in February 2024

Marks & Spencer and Next have expressed early interest in rescuing The Body Shop, as an auction for the embattled beauty business begins.

This is the second time the British brand has been put up for sale within the last year, after it was acquired by Aurelius Group in November 2023.

The Body Shop’s administrator, FRP Advisory, said it was “encouraged” by the bids from around 70 potential buyers.

Aurelius is reportedly among the interested parties, according to The Times, as it prepares its own bid to regain ownership of The Body Shop.

It comes after FRP revealed in April it was mulling a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) to rescue the brand.

However, the administrator said at the time that it would proceed with a sale of the business and its assets if the CVA could not be agreed.

Next previously approached FRP Advisory in February to purchase assets of the Aurelius Group-owned beauty brand.

The potential deal was met with obstacles, however, as The Body Shop’s brand and intellectual property (IP) assets were not part of the administration process.

The Body Shop’s UK and German businesses collapsed into administration in February 2024.

Its Denmark arm also filed for bankruptcy on 29 February, while its French subsidiary fell into administration in April.

Reports also emerged that The Body Shop fell into administration after its new owner failed to secure fresh funding following HSBC's withdrawal of its line of credit.

HSBC withdrew its line of credit following The Body Shop's sale, which contributed to a shortfall of at least £100m.

In the UK, 197 stores have closed as part of its restructuring process.

The store closures and job cuts come after an extended period of financial challenges for The Body Shop.

This included multiple consecutive quarters of losses with former owner Natura & Co.

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