Belfast Telegraph

The Body Shop sold to Brazilian firm Natura in £884m deal

Cosmetics chain The Body Shop has been sold to Brazilian firm Natura in a deal thought to be worth one billion euros (£884 million).

French beauty giant L'Oreal confirmed it had agreed the sale, which will end its 11-year ownership of the ethical skincare brand.

L'Oreal said it h opes the deal will go through later this year, subject to regulatory clearance, "notably in Brazil and in the United States".

L'Oreal put The Body Shop on the sale block in February and confirmed in June that it had entered into exclusive talks with Natura Cosmeticos.

Natura fought off a number of other bidders for The Body Group, including private equity group CVC and China's Fosun.

The sale comes after The Body Shop has suffered sliding sales, with lacklustre performance in Saudi Arabia and Hong Kong continuing to dog the firm.

Sales at the brand sank 5% to 920.8 million euros (£813 million) in 2016, down from 967.2 million euros (£854 million) in 2015.

But L'Oreal said in February that The Body Shop's ''momentum was good'' in Europe - especially in the UK - and across Latin America thanks to a new operation in Chile.

The Body Shop was founded in 1976 by the late Dame Anita Roddick.

Dame Anita and her husband banked around £117 million from their 18% stake in the business when they backed the board's decision to push through a £652.3 million sale to L'Oreal in March 2006.

The Roddicks started The Body Shop in 1976 to help support their two young daughters, Justine and Samantha.

The company has 3,000 stores in 66 countries, employing around 22,000 people.

Natura is based in Sao Paulo and employs around 7,000 staff in seven countries - Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Peru, Colombia and France.

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