The private equity owner of The Body Shop is preparing to hire administrators for its British stores.
It is preparing to appoint FRP Advisory to oversee an insolvency process, leaving staff at its 200 stores in the lurch.
Administrators will most likely consider closing a significant number of its UK stores, City sources told Sky News last night.
The Body Shop was bought in November by private equity firm Aurelius in a deal it said was valued at £207m.
According to reports last night, its new owner had decided that The Body Shop was performing worse than he had initially thought.
In the lurch: The Body Shop was bought in November by private equity firm Aurelius in a deal it said was valued at £207m.
The cosmetics company has struggled to keep up with rivals as the High Street faced a recession.
The skin-care seller’s lackluster sales persuaded Natura, which also owns Avon, to ditch the brand last year.
The Body Shop was founded by Anita Roddick in 1976 in Brighton and became a favorite among the middle class.
Roddick, who died in 2007 at the age of 64, offered discounts to customers if they brought in empty containers and championed green causes.
In recent years, the group has taken up social causes such as period poverty and refugee rights.
But analysts said The Body Shop has lost its competitive advantage.