Goldman Sachs in reported bid for L'Oréal’s The Body Shop

According to a Sky News report of Monday 3rd April, US investment bank Goldman Sachs is considering making a GBP600 million (€703 million) bid for natural cosmetics retailer The Body Shop, which L'Oréal intends to sell.

Body Shop

A first deadline for the submission of tenders is set for Friday 7th April, added the UK news channel. Last month, sources close to the matter stated to Reuters that the retailer specialising in natural ingredients-based cosmetics was on the radar of investment funds Bain Capital, BC Partners, CVC and Advent.

Sky News mentioned an interest by the Advent, Apax Partners and Carlyle investment funds instead. On its website, the news channel further wrote that a spokesperson for Goldman Sachs has declined to comment on the matter. 

Meanwhile, South Korea's CJ Corp said on Wednesday it is considering entering a bid for The Body Shop. CJ Corp, the holding company for food-to-entertainment conglomerate CJ Group, said in a regulatory filing nothing had been decided, including whether it would enter a bid or what unit might launch any potential bid.

The Body Shop was founded in 1976 by Anita Roddick, and is reportedly also in the cross-hairs of former L'Occitane boss, Emmanuel Osti. According to the Sunday Times, the latter has joined forces with CVC Capital to put forward a bid.

Last year, The Body Shop's revenue fell by 5%, and the weak performance spurred French cosmetics giant L'Oréal to find a buyer for the British retailer. The Body Shop was acquired in 2006 by L'Oréal for GBP652 million (€945 million), and at the end of 2015 it operated over 3,100 stores in about sixty countries, of which 1,134 directly owned, with 22,000 employees.

By divesting itself of the retailer, the French cosmetics giant would generate a substantial amount of cash, allowing it to pursue its acquisition policy, perhaps in the dermo-cosmetics industry, a buoyant market at the intersection between health and beauty in which L'Oréal has recently strengthened.

Reuters (with Marion Deslandes)

Translated by Nicola Mira

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