The Body Shop’s private equity owner is preparing to call in administrators for its British shops.
It is preparing to appoint FRP Advisory to oversee an insolvency process, leaving staff at its 200 stores in the lurch.
Administrators would most likely look at 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 last night’s reports, its new owner had decided The Body Shop was performing worse than it 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 its rivals as the High Street has faced a downturn.
Lacklustre sales at the skincare seller 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 favourite among the middle classes.
Roddick, who died in 2007 aged 64, offered discounts to customers if they brought back empty containers and championed green causes.
In recent years the group has taken on social causes such as period poverty and refugee rights.
But analysts said that The Body Shop has lost its competitive edge.