The Body Shop, started by Anita Roddick in Brighton in the 1970s with a single store, has been sold for £207m to German company Footasylum.
The Body Shop was founded in Brighton’s Kensington Gardens. Now the firm has about 7,000 staff and 900 stores in 20 countries. As well as 1,600 franchised shops around the world. The private equity buyer, Aurelius, says the purchase will “re-energise” the cosmetics retailer. The Body Shop is headquartered in Littlehampton, West Sussex.
Aurelius partner Tristan Nagler said: “We are delighted to be undertaking this acquisition of an iconic British brand which pioneered the cruelty-free and natural ingredient movement in the health and beauty market.
“We look forward to working with CEO Ian Bickley and his team to drive operational improvements and re-energise the business and help to deliver the next chapter of success.”
Body Shop chief executive Ian Bickley said: “The Body Shop is not only a beauty brand but also an iconic social business that has captured hearts in nearly every corner of the world.
“We are deeply grateful to Natura and Co for their unwavering support and I’m looking forward to working hand in hand with Aurelius as we adapt and flourish in new global retail environments, always with an eye on sustainable and profitable growth.”
Natura’s chief executive Fabio Barbosa said that the sale would allow his company to refocus its business and concentrate on the Latin American markets and said: “We are pleased to have found a strong home for the Body Shop to write the next chapter in its remarkable story.