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Mar, 22 2017

​The Body Shop soon to jump out of L'Oreal's basket

Last year The Body Shop, which has more than 3,000 stores across the world, saw its 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.

L'Oreal's sale of British retailer The Body Shop has drawn interest from a series of private equity investors who are lining up indicative bids ahead of a mid-April deadline, sources revealed.

Bain Capital, BC Partners, CVC and Advent are among those planning to make an offer for the business which prides itself on offering "naturally-inspired products," the sources said.

Other heavyweight buyout funds including KKR, CD&R and PAI Partners are also currently exploring a possible bid for the maker of beauty products such as Body Butter and white musk perfumes.

Last year The Body Shop, which has more than 3,000 stores across the world, saw its 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.

Most industry players have snubbed the auction, led by investment bank Lazard, the sources said, while Chinese investors have signaled interest in making an offer for the business which has yet to crack the Chinese market.

But several decades later, that unique positioning has become commonplace with a raft of competitors including Lush and Origins. The Body Shop, which employs more than 22,000 people in over 60 countries, has struggled to grow, prompting L'Oreal's decision to sell it.

Private equity funds are best placed to revamp its brand and boost global growth, but they are wary about how much to pay, saying turnaround work is required, the sources said.

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