The Body Shop has been sold to the German owner of Footasylum in a deal worth up to £207 million.

The deal sees Brazil’s Natura & Co recoup just a fraction of the one billion euros (£872 million at today’s exchange rate) that it paid for the cosmetics firm, which was founded in Brighton, six years ago.

It said the £207 million includes £90 million that Natura can be paid within five years if certain conditions are met.

The private equity buyer, Aurelius, said that it would have an opportunity to “re-energise” the retailer.

“We are delighted to be undertaking this acquisition of an iconic British brand, which pioneered the cruelty-free and natural ingredient movement in the health and beauty market,” said Aurelius partner Tristan Nagler.



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“We look forward to working with CEO Ian Bickley and his team to drive operational improvements and re-energise the business, and help to deliver the next chapter of success.”

Founded in 1976 by the late Dame Anita Roddick in Brighton, the Body Shop has grown to have around 7,000 staff, and 900 stores in 20 different countries.

It also has around 1,600 franchised shops around the world.

Body Shop chief executive Ian Bickley said: “The Body Shop is not only a beauty brand, but also an iconic social business that has captured hearts in nearly every corner of the world.

“We are deeply grateful to Natura & Co for their unwavering support and I’m looking forward to working hand in hand with Aurelius as we adapt and flourish in new global retail environments, always with an eye on sustainable and profitable growth.”

Natura’s chief executive Fabio Barbosa said that the sale would allow his company to refocus its business and concentrate on the Latin American markets.

“We are pleased to have found a strong home for The Body Shop to write the next chapter in its remarkable story, and we extend our sincerest thanks to all The Body Shop’s associates, who contributed immensely to broadening Natura &Co’s horizons. We wish them continued success under the stewardship of Aurelius.”