Saturday, July 13, 2024

Tycoon nears deal for The Body Shop

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British tycoon Mike Jatania is closing in on a deal for The Body Shop, as he moves ahead in the race to rescue what is left of the stricken high street chain

Mr Jatania is understood to be part of a consortium that has entered exclusive talks with administrators overseeing the sale of The Body Shop.

His investment firm Aurea Holdings is working on the acquisition alongside Charles Denton, former Molton Brown chief executive, according to sources. 

It comes after the consortium beat rival bidders in the auction process, with exclusive talks expected to run for the next couple of weeks. 

News of the prospective deal, first reported by Bloomberg, comes after a flurry of interest in The Body Shop. 

The Telegraph revealed last month that Gordon Brothers and Alteri were also in the running, both of which specialise in buying distressed businesses. 

The high street chain collapsed into administration in February following a failed takeover by private equity outfit Aurelius, which bought the business from Brazilian cosmetics giant Natura in a cut-price £207m deal. 

Following its collapse, FRP chose to shutter 75 of The Body Shop’s worst-performing stores, leaving it with around 100 high street shops overall. 

Mr Jatania is known for having success in the cosmetic industry, having sold the maker of Lypsyl to rival Li & Fung for almost $200m (£156m) in 2013.

He has made a series of property investments in the UK, including at Regent’s Crescent in London. 

Last year, he put his 12-bedroom mansion in Denham for sale in what was expected to be one of the biggest-ever country house deals. 

At the time, he said he expected an international buyer to snap up the property, telling Bloomberg: “In central London, the likes of Ken Griffin and other hedge fund managers have bought properties, so I’m sure the Americans will look at it.

“There’s also been a lot of wealth created in the Middle East recently, and we know families there have a tradition of owning London homes.”

FRP and the consortium both declined to comment.

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