Waterstones owner eyes bid for The Body Shop

18th September 2023 | Jack Oliver

The owner of Waterstones is one of a number of names eyeing up a bid for The Body Shop, after the cosmetics retailer was put on the market.

Elliott Advisors, the firm best-known for its activist investment campaigns, submitted an offer for the retailer in recent weeks, Sky News has reported.

The Body Shop was put up for sale by Brazilian company Natura, which has owned the retailer since 2017.

City sources told Sky News that the auction, which is being handled by Morgan Stanley, was proceeding quickly with Natura looking to reach a provisional agreement on a sale by the end of October.

Prior to its sale to Natura, The Body Shop was owned by L’Oreal, but has since struggled to achieve profitable growth. It has grown rapidly in recent years through acquisitions, but has posted losses for six consecutive quarters.

The business was previously valued at £406m.

As well as Waterstones, Elliott Advisors owns US book retailer Barnes & Noble and has also backed fashion accessories chain Claire’s.

The firm was also among the suitors for cinema operator Cineworld, earlier this year.


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