Body Shop faces possible takeover from L'Oreal
LONDON - L'Oreal, the French global beauty business, is considering a bid for Body Shop International, the cosmetics retailer famed for its ethical stance.
Body Shop shares rose more than 10% after media reports named L'Oreal as a possible bidder.
In a statement, the L'Oreal company said: "L'Oreal's management is continually evaluating a wide range of strategic alternatives that may add value to its shareholders, including a possible offer for Body Shop."
Dame Anita Roddick, who founded the Body Shop 30 years ago, styled the brand as an ethical alternative, specialising in natural products and opposed to animal testing. She stepped down from management in 2002 but has retained an 18% stake in the company.
If a deal goes ahead, there are concerns about how Body Shop's image as a corporate good guy will be affected. L'Oreal has previously come under fire for animal testing from animal rights charity Peta and the company is also part-owned by Nestle, which was condemned by Oxfam for its business practices in Ethiopia.
Anita Singh of Peta said: "Big companies are learning that consumers care about compassionate cosmetics. We hope Body Shop convinces L'Oreal to adopt more ethical standards."
L'Oreal's move on Body Shop mirrors a recent trend for multinationals to snap up small, ethical brands, such as Cadbury Schweppes' takeover of Green & Black's, including the world's first Fair Trade chocolate bar, Maya Gold.
However, Roddick has been highly critical of L'Oreal's ethical practices in the past. A section of her website headed 'Because You're Not Worth It' sees her rail against the global cosmetics company.
As one of the Body Shop's single biggest shareholder, Roddick's reaction to any proposed take over will be decisive.
If you have an opinion on this or any other issue raised on Brand Republic, join the debate in the Forum.
Latest jobs Jobs web feed
- SHOPPER MARKETING ACCOUNT HANDLERS - London agencies - £38k-55k (perm & freelance) Judi Patton £28-£55k- plus bonus and benefits, London
- head of new business > #1 DIGITAL & CONTENT AGENCY collectivo £60k-£80k plus agency bens, Central London
- Account Director Ball & Hoolahan £55,000 per annum, London
- Senior Account Manager - [Retail / Digital] - Superb agency! £35k - £39k Fill Recruitment Ltd £35k - £39k + bonus & benefits, Central London
- Marketing Manager - FMCG - London or Home counties Stonor £45,000 - £55,000 dependent on experience , London, Essex, Bucks or Oxon
- Creative Director The Marketing Practice Up to £120k dependant on experience , East Hendred, near to Didcot in Oxfordshire