The proprietor of Waterstones is amongst a pack of bidders circling The Body Shop after its Brazilian proprietor hoisted a on the market signal above the cosmetics retailer.
Sky News has learnt that Elliott Advisors, the funding agency best-known for its activist campaigns in opposition to the boards of a few of the world’s greatest corporations, tabled an indicative bid for The Body Shop in the previous few weeks.
This weekend, it was unclear whether or not Elliott remained in competition to purchase the chain, which has been put up on the market by Natura, its proprietor since 2017.
City sources mentioned the public sale, which is being dealt with by bankers at Morgan Stanley, was continuing at tempo, with Natura mentioned to be eager to succeed in a provisional settlement on a sale by the tip of subsequent month.
Elliott, which was among the many events initially concerned within the public sale of Manchester United Football Club, has turn out to be more and more energetic as a personal fairness investor in recent times.
It owns Barnes & Noble and Waterstones, the guide retailers, and has backed Claire’s, the style equipment chain.
The agency was additionally among the many suitors for Cineworld, the debt-ridden cinema operator, earlier this yr.
Founded in 1976 by the environmental campaigner Anita Roddick and husband Gordon, The Body Shop nonetheless retains a giant presence on British excessive streets.
It was owned by L’Oreal, the cosmetics large, previous to its sale to Natura, however has struggled to attain worthwhile progress.
Elliott declined to remark.