Recent bankruptcy developments in The Body Shop's UK and German businesses are not expected to have any effect on the franchise overseas, including in Malta, a spokesperson for the local company has said.

On Tuesday, the UK-founded Body Shop was put into administration three months after it had been bought for £207 million (€242 million) by Aurelius, a German private equity firm specialising in distressed companies.

The next day, the brand’s German sales and licensing company filed for bankruptcy. German business news portal Spiegel Business reported that the Body Shop Germany GmbH, which employed 350 people and generated €23 million in sales in 2021, had an administrator appointed by the Düsseldorf District Court.

Even so, a Body Shop Malta spokesperson insisted with that while the UK and German shop are facing turmoil, it is expanding by opening its ninth store on the island.

The Body Shop has been on the islands since 1987 and can be found in a number of prime locations.

Who’s Aurelius and what happened to Body Shop UK?

Aurelius has been growing its presence in the UK for a number of years. It bought the parent of the Lloyds Pharmacy chain in 2022, Ideal Shopping Direct in 2018 and Office Depot in 2017. It also acquired Footasylum and Ceramic Tyle Distributors in 2022.

Bodyshop has been bought by different owners throughout the years. Originally founded by Anita Roddick in 1976, it was sold for £652 million (€762 million) to L’Oreal. In 2017, L’Oreal sold the company to Natura & Co, a Brazilian firm, for £880 million (€1 billion).

It was only in November 2023 that Natural & Co sold the company to Aurelius. The agreement saw the company being sold at £207 million with an earn out clause of £90 million, to be applied if Body Shop hit performance targets.

While Aurelius had pledged that it would return the company to its former glory, low sales over Christmas sealed its faith with the investment company.

Now that The Body Shop has collapsed into administration, accounting firm FRP Advisory hasbeen appointed as the administrator of the UK business.

In an article published by The Guardian the company were quoted saying that it had faced an extended period of financial challenges under past owners, coinciding with a difficult trading environment for the wider retail sector. Additionally, they said that they “would consider all option to find a way forward for the business and will update creditors and employees in due course.”

A month ago, Aurelius also shut down the direct sales business, The Body Shop at Home, in Australia and the UK. This scheme allowed independent consultants to sell the brand’s products from home.

Main Image:

The Body Shop Malta / Facebook

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Written By

Anthea Cachia

Anthea has a passion for writing, meeting new people and telling stories. With an insatiable curiosity Anthea loves roaming localities in search of long-established small businesses. When not scribbling away on a notebook or tapping on her computer, you can find her experimenting in the kitchen or traveling.