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Under New Ownership, The Body Shop Is Shedding Most European and Some Asian Business

PARIS — The Body Shop has signed an agreement with an international family office to sell most of its business in mainland Europe and in parts of Asia.

Financial terms of the deal, which includes both physical and digital operations, were not disclosed.

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The part of the activity effected equals to about 14 percent of The Body Shop’s business worldwide.

The sale does not impact its global head franchise partners, which operate on a country or territory level, but some sub-franchise partners are to be included in the sale.

In a third-quarter 2023 sales statement, The Body Shop’s then parent company Natura & Co. wrote that projects underway included “turbo-charging the support for our head franchise partners, with a focus on our top-h.f. partners in the key markets where we see growth, including India, Middle East and Southeast Asia.”

It is believed The Body Shop’s largest market remains its home country of the U.K.

The B-Corp-certified company operates around 2,800 retail locations in more than 70 countries.

The impending divestiture is part of The Body Shop’s transformation after its acquisition by private equity firm Aurelius Investment in mid-November 2023. As previously reported, Natura & Co. sold the beauty retailer to Aurelius in a deal valuing The Body Shop at 207 million pounds.

In third-quarter 2023, The Body Shop’s sales reached 829 million Brazilian reals, or $168.6 million.

The company’s changing hands came a few months after a significant chief executive officer switch at The Body Shop, when David Boynton abruptly stepped down. He had been CEO since 2017, the same year Natura & Co. acquired The Body Shop from L’Oréal.

Boynton was succeeded by interim CEO Ian Bickley, who left the business in January, following the completion of The Body Shop’s sale.

The Body Shop said in a statement the upcoming deal “further prioritizes [its] strategically important markets and global head franchise partner relationships, which it will look for opportunities to build. The Body Shop will also focus on more effectively reaching customers by strengthening digital platforms, developing new sales channels and via differentiated retail experiences.”

“The announced sale is another decisive step toward delivering a strong turnaround strategy for The Body Shop, supported by the right structure,” the company continued. “The ambition is to create a modern and dynamic beauty brand, relevant to customers and able to compete for the long term. The Body Shop must continue to create exceptional products, rediscover its unique voice and deliver financial stability.”

The Body Shop was founded by Anita Roddick in the U.K. in 1976.

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