New owners put The Body Shop’s U.K. business on the selling block

The Body Shop employee
The Body Shop has about 200 stores in the U.K.

The Body Shop is looking to restructure its U.K. business. 

The new owners of The Body Shop have put its British business into administration, a U.K. process that is similar to Chapter 11 in the United States.  The move, which affects the company’s British business only, comes several months after Brazil-based cosmetics conglomerate Natura & Co sold the iconic beauty chain to U.K. private equity group Aurelius in a transaction valued at £207 million ($254 million).

Business advisory firm FRP, which will handle the administrative process, said The Body Shop will continue to trade as they look for a buyer for all or part of the business, reported WWD. The administrators will “consider all options to find a way forward for the business and will update creditors and employees in due course.”   

The Body’s Shop’s U.K. restructuring is part of a wider effort. Earlier this month, WWD reported that the retailer signed an agreement with an international family office to sell most of its business in mainland Europe and in parts of Asia.

The Body Shop has approximately 2,500 stores across the globe, including about 200 stores in the U.K. The company has struggled in recent years amid increased competition and changing consumer behavior. In April, David Boynton, who had served as CEO since 2017, stepped down, succeeded by Natura board member Ian Bickley.

Aurelius’ retail holdings include U.K. streetwear and sportswear retailer Footasylum, Lloyds Pharmacy and global catering group LSG Sky Chefs.  

“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,”  Tristan Nagler, partner at Aurelius, said in a statement at the time of the acquisition. “We look forward to working with CEO Ian Bickley and his team to drive operational improvements and re-energize the business and help to deliver the next chapter of success."

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