L"Oreal "is ready to sell High Street chain The Body Shop"

L'Oreal 'is ready to sell High Street chain The Body Shop'

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UPDATED:

12:31 GMT, 8 October 2012

A former suitor for The Body Shop chain says it is being groomed for a sale by French owner L’Oreal.

Mark Constantine, founder of rival Lush, who tried to buy the natural cosmetics group in 2001, said he had spoken to a Body Shop source who told him the business no longer fitted L’Oreal’s strategy.

L’Oreal has been working to improve performance of the chain, but Constantine said: ‘It doesn’t fulfil L’Oreal’s profit profile.

Poor fit: The Body Shop's performance does not 'fulfil owner L'Oreal's profit profile'

Poor fit: The Body Shop's performance does not 'fulfil owner L'Oreal's profit profile'

They always get rid of businesses that perform averagely. I don’t know what it will sell for, but it will certainly be for less than they paid.’

The cosmetics giant bought The Body Shop for 652.3million in 2006.

The acquisition was seen as controversial, as the chain’s ‘green’ credentials were not regarded as an obvious fit with L’Oreal.

The Body Shop International reported pre-tax profits of 49.3million last year, up from 45.6million in the previous year. Turnover increased 3.8 per cent to 420.5million.

L’Oreal chief executive Jean-Paul Agon said last month: ‘I very often receive very strong offers to buy The Body Shop, which means that it’s a kind of treasure.’

The Body Shop declined to comment.