Alibaba Founder Jack Ma invited to make joint bid for The Body Shop

The Founder and Executive Chairman of China’s e-commerce giant is said to have been asked to team up with private equity firm Investindustrial for the L’Oréal-owned brand

Jack Ma, the Founder and Executive Chairman of Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba, has reportedly been invited to submit a joint bid with private equity firm Investindustrial to buy The Body Shop.

According to Reuters sources, the business tycoon was approached to lodge a bid of more than €800m, just days before the deadline for final bids.

The sources are also said to have confirmed that Advent International has dropped out of the running to acquire the business currently owned by L’Oréal.

Meanwhile, it is speculated that CVC Capital Partners is due to submit a ‘rival offer’ ahead of the 7 June deadline for final bids.

According to the report, Reuters sources are said to have revealed that L’Oréal has asked suitors to offer no less than €800m for the cosmetics brand and retailer.

L’Oréal bought The Body Shop more than ten years ago in a £652m ($833m) deal.

In April, it was reported by Bloomberg that Brazilian cosmetics giant Natura Cosmeticos had been put forward to the next round of the auction, along with CVC Capital Partners, Advent International and Investindustrial Advisors.