The owner of The Body Shop has sold the struggling beauty retailer to private equity firm Aurelius Group in the latest change of ownership of a household UK brand.
Brazilian cosmetics conglomerate Natura & Co. sold the retailer, which has been trying to revamp its performance for the last few years, in a deal valuing The Body Shop at 207 million pounds ($254 million). The transaction is expected to close next month.
The Body Shop was founded in 1976 by businesswoman and human rights activist Anita Roddick with a small store in Brighton, southern England and is famed for not testing its products on animals.
It was acquired by Natura & Co. in 2017 and employs around 7,000 staff across 89 different markets, but faces increasing competition from rivals better able to target younger consumers.
Aurelius, which bills itself as an expert in complex transactions, previously bought Footasylum from JD Sports Fashion Plc and LSG Group from Deutsche Lufthansa AG.
Natura's sale of The Body Shop was driven by a need to cut costs after the pandemic. The conglomerate sold Australian beauty brand Aesop to L'Oreal earlier this year for $2.5 billion as part of efforts to deleverage its balance sheet.
Natura said it also wants to refocus its strategic priorities, notably accelerating the integration of the Natura and Avon brands in Latin America and expanding Avon International more broadly.