SÃO PAULO & MELBOURNE, Australia--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Natura Cosméticos S.A. (BM&F Bovespa: NATU 3) (“Natura”), the leading Brazilian manufacturer and direct seller of cosmetics, toiletries and fragrances, and Aesop, the Australia-based personal care company, today announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement, under which Natura will acquire a 65% stake in Aesop for approximately AUD $68 million in cash, which includes the anticipated acquisition of Aesop’s distributors.
Established in Melbourne in 1987, Aesop’s mission is to create a range of superlative products for the skin, hair and body, using both plant-based and laboratory-made ingredients of the highest quality and proven efficacy. Today, Aesop operates more than 60 retail locations in 11 countries, and is expected to generate approximately 64 million AUD in pro-forma sales in the fiscal year ending June 2013.
Founded in 1969 and headquartered in Brazil, Natura is a world-class wellness and beauty company that distributes its products through the direct selling model, which generates income and creates opportunities for more than 1.5 million sales representatives. Natura, the preferred brand in Brazil and one of the leading brands across Latin America, is widely recognized for the quality of its products, concepts and services, and for a corporate reputation that is based on the commitment to sustainability.
The investment by Natura will support Aesop’s current management team as they accelerate the growth of the brand internationally. Aesop will continue to be headed by its current Chief Executive Officer, Michael O’Keeffe, and will remain headquartered in Melbourne. Aesop’s founder, Dennis Paphitis, will remain involved with the company as an advisor following the close of the transaction, which is expected to occur shortly, pending customary closing conditions. Harbert Australia Private Equity will exit its investment in Aesop as part of this transaction.
Upon closing, Natura and Aesop will continue to operate independently, but both organizations will be committed to sharing competencies and regional expertise that longer-term could lead to Aesop potentially entering the Brazilian market and Natura exploring the concept of signature stores in select markets.
Alessandro Carlucci, Chief Executive Officer of Natura, said, “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. 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.”
Mr. Carlucci continued, “We look forward to supporting Aesop’s talented management team, led by Michael O’Keeffe, who have created a powerful global brand and product offering supported by unique and compelling signature stores and retail environments. We expect to leverage these competencies as we evaluate expansion into additional markets and seek to build a truly global brand. Importantly, Natura and Aesop will operate as independent companies and brands, and Natura remains fully committed to the direct selling channel in Latin America, which continues to gain market share and expand globally.”
Michael O'Keeffe, Chief Executive Officer of 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.”
Mr. O’Keeffe concluded, “Aesop has great momentum, and with Natura’s support and resources we will be able to accelerate and crystalize our vision. We recently opened our 61st store, located in San Francisco, California. We are enthusiastic to beginning this partnership with Natura, share ideas and knowledge, and further enrich the experiences of our employees and customers.”
Lazard is serving as financial advisor to Natura, and Corrs Chambers Westgarth and Mattos Filho, Veiga Filho, Marrey Jr. e Quiroga Advogados are serving as its legal counsel. Goldman Sachs & Co is serving as financial advisor to Aesop, Middletons as its legal counsel and Herbert Smith Freehills as legal advisor to management.
Founded in 1969, Natura Cosméticos S.A. (BM&F Bovespa: NATU 3) is a world-class wellness and beauty company that has a demonstrated, 43-year commitment to engendering a better world and creating great value across the economic, social and environmental spectrum.
Based in Brazil, we are the leading direct-selling company in Latin America with a unique and highly regarded brand, outstanding products, an engaged and productive d team of 1.5 million consultants, and a proven model of profitable growth. In 2011, Natura reported $3.4 billion in sales and $0.9 billion in EBITDA. Enterprise value is approximately $11 billion.
Our vision is that direct selling, supported by information technology and mobility, together with the best logistic models available, will continue to be a great distribution channel allowing a close relationship with consumers and delivering a differentiated service, enabling people to be entrepreneurs and achieve personal growth as well as financial gains.
Aesop was established in Melbourne in 1987 with a quest to create a range of superlative products for the skin, hair and body. It is committed to using both plant-based and laboratory-made ingredients of the highest quality and proven efficacy. The company’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 Aesop counters in some of the world’s finest department stores.