French cosmetics giant L’Oréal has agreed to acquire Aesop, the Australian luxury brand, from Brazil’s Natura & Co in a deal worth $2.53 billion.
This deal will allow L’Oréal to expand its footprint in the luxury cosmetics market while providing financial relief for Natura, which has been struggling with shrinking margins and heavy debt.
Aesop, which operates almost 400 retail outlets worlwide, was Natura’s most profitable brand, others include The Body Shop and Avon International.
Globally Aesop posted double-digit growth in 2022 with sales corresponding to $537 million, up 21% from the previous year. It has a flourishing Chinese business and several deals with luxury hotel chains and beauty centres worlwide.
The acquisition will support Natura’s financial deleverage and focus on strategic priorities such as the integration of its Latin American operations and the continued improvement of The Body Shop’s business.
The acquisition will be paid in cash and is subject to regulatory approval, with closing expected in Q3 2023.
“Aesop taps into all of today’s ascending currents and L’Oreal will contribute to unleash its massive growth potential, notably in China and travel retail,” Nicolas Hieronimus, the chief executive of L’Oréal said in a statement.