The Body Shop in Watergate, Victoria

L’Oreal Paris is set to sell The Body Shop to Brazil’s Natura Cosmeticos for one billion euros.

Announcing the proposed sale last week, L’Oreal Paris Chairman & CEO Jean-Paul Agon said the company had entered into an exclusive discussion with Natura Cosmeticos “following an extensive review of the strategic options for The Body Shop to ensure its best future development.”

“I am very pleased to announce Natura as the potential new ‘home’ for The Body Shop,” he said.

“It is the best new owner we could imagine to nurture the brand DNA around naturality and ethics.

“Natura will support The Body Shop development in the long-term and enable The Body Shop to best serve its customers while respecting its strong commitments towards its employees, franchisees and stakeholders.”

Jeremy Schwartz, chairman and CEO of The Body Shop, was equally positive about the change of ownership.

“I am sure that all customers, employees, franchisees and stakeholders of The Body Shop will join me in welcoming L’Oréal’s decision to enter into exclusive discussions with Natura,” he said.

“ The ethical values and expertise of Natura makes it the perfect new owner for The Body Shop to accelerate the rejuvenation of the brand and its future expansion.”

Acquired by L’Oréal for 652 million pounds in 2006, The Body Shop was founded in 1976 by Anita Roddick in Brighton, England.

A global leader in ethical and natural beauty, with a deep-rooted belief that business can be a force for good, the brand is now  present in more than 60 countries around the world, through various distribution channels including more than 3,000 point of sales and e-commerce.

In 2016, it generated retail sales of around 1.5 billion euros and net sales of 921 million euros.

Established in 1969, Natura, which bought Australian brand Aesop for almost $70 million three years ago, has over 3000 stores and more than 1.8 million direct sales ‘consultants’ in South America.

Like The Body Shop, Natura has a strong commitment to culture and environment preservation and does not test its products on animals.

Natura co-chair Guilherme Leal said Natura and The Body Shop have “always walked in parallel”.

“Today [the day of the official announcement of the sale] their paths meet.”

“The complementarity of our international footprints, the sustainable use of biodiversity in our products, a belief in ethics in management and fair relations with communities and a high degree of innovation constitute the pillars of the journey on which we are now embarking.”

Subject to regulatory approval in Brazil and the US, the proposed sale is expected to be completed this year.