Alibaba’s Jack Ma Invited to Buy The Body Shop

In February this year French cosmetics giant L’Oreal said they were considering selling its multichannel body care and beauty retailer The Body Shop, just ten years after it acquired the skincare brand, following an examination of “all strategic options.” And now, it looks like that time has arrived.

Days just before the deadline hits, on Friday Alibaba‘s founder Jack Ma was invited to joint-buy The Body Shop, according to a report from Reuters.

According to sources, Hong Kong-based Blue Pool Capital has been solicited to partner with Investindustrial and one of Latin America’s largest private equity firms, Brazil’s GP Investments, to make a bid for The Body Shop.

A private European equity investor CVC Capital Partners is also thought to be in preparation to submit a rival offer before the June 7th deadline for final bids, which will add another buyout firm to the list, while Advent has decided to drop out of the running.

L’Oreal has requested that prospective bidders table offers worth no less than €8 00 million, according to sources who spoke to Reuters.

“It has been decided to explore all strategic options regarding The Body Shop’s ownership in order to give it the best opportunities and full ability to continue its development,” the company said in a statement earlier this year.

With an ethical approach to cosmetics, The Body Shop was founded as an alternative to traditional methods of developing beauty products. It quickly became an icon in beauty and high street retail in the 1980s.

The Body Shop recently appointed a new retail operations director, former Swarovski marketing chief James Shepherd.

L’Oreal is currently investing in other skincare brands, including the acquisition of US companies CeraVe, AcneFree and Ambi, owned by Canadian firm Valeant Pharmaceauticals.

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