The Body Shop has been snapped up by private equity investor Aurelius Group for £207m.
The beauty brand has been sold by parent company Natura & Co for just a fifth of the price the Brazilian cosmetics giant paid for it in 2017.
The deal with Aurelius is expected to complete next month, subject to approval by the relevant competition and regulatory authorities.
The purchase agreement also includes an earn-out of £90m, subject to certain conditions.
Aurelius, which also owns Footasylum and Lloyds Pharmacy, plans to work with The Body Shop’s current management team to “drive operational excellence across the group”.
This includes leveraging the team’s expertise and experience in omnichannel retail and wholesale markets.
Ian Bickley, CEO of The Body Shop, said it is a “truly historic moment” for the company.
“As we join forces with Aurelius to begin a new chapter, [it allows] us to continue building the relevancy of this global brand for future generations,” said Bickley.
“We are deeply grateful to Natura & Co for their unwavering support.
“I am looking forward to working hand-in-hand with Aurelius as we adapt and flourish in new global retail environments, always with an eye on sustainable and profitable growth.”
Tristan Nagler, Partner at Aurelius, said the investment firm is “delighted” to be acquiring the British beauty brand.
“We look forward to working with Ian and his team to drive operational improvements and re-energise the business,” commented Nagler.
Why has Natura & Co put The Body Shop up for sale?
Natura & Co revealed in August that it was putting The Body Shop up for sale after a period of declining sales.
The embattled beauty brand has posted six consecutive quarters of losses.
The Brazilian conglomerate attempted to minimise The Body Shop’s impact on earnings by reducing its leadership team by 25% and overall staff by 12%.
It also closed the retailer’s At-Home direct sales business in the US and dedicated distribution centre in the UK.
Natura & Co purchased The Body Shop in 2017 from beauty giant L’Oréal for US$1.1bn.