Natura Cosmeticos S.A. will acquire a 65% stake in the Australia-based personal care company, Aesop, for approximately AUD $68 million in cash. The deal includes the anticipated acquisition of Aesop’s distributors.
Natura's investment will help Aesop to grow internationally. Natura is a cosmetics manufacturer based in Brazil, and the leading direct-selling company in Latin America. The brand has 1.5 million consultants. In 2011, Natura reported $3.4 billion in sales. Aesop's products are available online and at more than sixty signature stores internationally across major cities, including Paris, Tokyo and New York, as well as at its department store counters.
Natural and Aesop will continue to operate independently, but both are committed to sharing competencies and regional expertise. This partnership could lead to Aesop entering the Brazilian market and Natura exploring the concept of signature stores in select markets.
Aesop will continue to be headed by its current CEO, Michael O’Keeffe. Aesop’s founder, Dennis Paphitis, will remain involved with the company. Harbert Australia Private Equity will exit its investment in Aesop as part of this transaction.
“We have great respect for Aesop and are delighted to be partnering with an such an innovative organization that shares our values, vision and commitment to using the highest-quality botanical ingredients, said Alessandro Carlucci, CEO, Natura.
Carlucci continued: "The investment in Aesop is consistent with our long-term strategy of aligning with world-class brands with strong value propositions, and exposure to markets beyond Latin America.”
Michael O'Keeffe, CEO, Aesop, said, “We are excited to partner with Natura, a company with similar brand attributes and a culture dedicated to improving the lives of its people and communities where it operates. In addition to shared corporate philosophies and values, we even feel the Brazilian-Australian fit is just right - both organizations originated from cultures that celebrate the philosophy of a sound mind in a healthy body. This is a perfect fit with tremendous potential.”