Natura Cosméticos SA, a Brazilian cosmetics company, said it has finalized the acquisition of The Body Shop from L’Oréal, according to a press release emailed to Retail Dive. The deal, for an undisclosed amount, was first announced in June and some speculation pegged the sale at close to $1 billion, according to Reuters.
The acquisition helps solidify Natura’s effort to become a global, multi-brand and multichannel cosmetics group, the company also said.
L’Oréal bought the U.K. natural beauty retailer in 2006, and began looking for offers this past spring.
The Body Shop started out four decades ago with a fresh approach to cosmetics and personal care, but has faced challenges as a series of rivals entered the space, and as CPG stalwarts like Procter & Gamble began offering their own natural alternatives. Last year the retailer, which runs more than 3,000 stores globally, saw operating profit fall to 33.8 million euros from 54.8 million euros in 2015, while its revenues dropped to 920.8 million euros in 2016 from 967.2 million in 2015, according to the Business of Fashion.
Natura co-chairman Guilherme Leal said the company has plans to revive the brand. "We are thrilled to welcome The Body Shop to the Natura group," he said in a statement. "This alliance creates a combination of companies that share a common purpose that goes way beyond usual businesses. A new force for good is taking shape."
The acquisition expands Natura’s footprint, with a broad presence in key markets. All told, the company’s three brands (Natura, Body Shop and Australian brand Aesop) have operations in 69 countries, 18,000 employees and 3,200 stores, with a strong network of franchisees, a sales force of 1.8 million independent sales representatives and an extensive product portfolio covering a broad range of categories.
Natura was founded in 1969 and operates mainly through direct sales in Brazil. The company posted net revenues of R$ 7.9 billion in 2016, thanks to its operations in the U.S., Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Peru, Colombia and France. Natura says it was the first publicly traded company in the world to receive a B Corp certification, in December of 2014, which the company says "reinforces its transparent and sustainable performance in social, environmental and economic aspects."