Investment company Aurelius, which currently owns UK health and beauty retailer Lloyds Pharmacy, is now in the running to acquire international beauty retail brand The Body Shop from its current owner, Natura. Joining private equity firms Epiris and Elliott Advisors as potential buyers, Aurelius has shown its interest in the ethical brand, which was acquired by Natura in 2017 for €1 billion (£880 million).

Natura has enlisted the help of Morgan Stanley bankers to facilitate the sale, with hopes of finalizing an agreement by the end of the month. The Body Shop has faced challenges in recent years, despite its long-standing presence in the UK with 205 stores. Increased competition from other beauty brands offering their own ethical and sustainable products has impacted its sales, leading to a decline of over 9% in net sales for the first quarter of this year. The CEO of the UK unit also unexpectedly resigned.

The Body Shop’s story began in 1976 when Anita Roddick and her husband Gordon founded the brand. As environmental campaigners, they aimed to create a beauty retail company that championed ethical practices. Currently employing approximately 10,000 people, The Body Shop operates 3,000 stores across 70 countries.

Possible links:
1. The Body Shop official website
2. Natura official website