Brazil’s Natura &Co has agreed to sell Aesop to French beauty giant L’Oréal as part of an agreement valuing the Australian luxury cosmetics brand at USD 2.525 billion.

Acquired by Natura & Co in 2012, Aēsop was created in 1987. The brand is renowned globally for its skin, hair and body products. With its signature amber packaging, plant-based ingredients, sustainable vegan formulations, and its bespoke customer service, Aēsop has evolved into a global brand available across luxury retail, beauty, and hospitality locations around the world. Aēsop currently operates around 400 points of sale across the Americas, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and Asia, with a nascent footprint in China where the first store opened in 2022.

The brand posted sales of USD 537 million in 2022.

Natura &Co says the sale of Aesop will help the group reduce debt while freeing up resources for its strategic priorities, such as strengthening the Avon brand in Latin America, and improving The Body Shop operations. “With a strengthened financial structure and a deleveraged balance sheet, Natura &Co, exercising strict financial discipline, will be able to sharpen its focus on its strategic priorities, notably our investment plan in Latin America,” explains Fábio Barbosa, Chief Executive Officer of Natura &Co.

Aesop will be integrated into the luxury division of the L’Oréal group, with the aim of reaching a turnover of one billion dollars.

I am very excited to welcome Aēsop and its teams to the L’Oréal Groupe family. Aēsop is the epitome of avant-garde beauty, whose products are not only made with great care and exceptional attention to detail; they are a superb combination of urbanity, hedonism and undeniable luxury. Aēsop taps into all of today’s ascending currents and L’Oréal will contribute to unleash its massive growth potential, notably in China and Travel retail,” said Nicolas Hieronimus, Chief Executive Officer, L’Oréal Group.

The closing is subject to certain regulatory approvals and other customary conditions and is expected to close in Q3 2023.

Targeted acquisitions of emerging and established players with engaged audiences have allowed L’Oréal to stay relevant in the rapidly evolving beauty industry. L’Oréal has employed this strategy to consistently align with shifts in consumer behavior and preferences, and its latest acquisition of Aesop is no different. Aesop’s clean aesthetic resonates with Gen Z and Millennial consumers and although its products have a high price tag – a 500ml hand soap is GBP 31 (EUR 35) – it has broad appeal that enabled it to launch in various premium retailers. Aesop’s products will continue to resonate with the 38% of global consumers who associate high quality products and ingredients in the beauty & grooming industry with value for money, as identified in GlobalData’s 2022 Q4 Global Consumer Survey," commented Lia Neophytou, Lead Analyst of Health & Hygiene at GlobalData.