Retail in Asia

LVMH, Shiseido, L’Oreal seek stake in Australia’s Aesop

Beauty giants Shiseido and L’Oreal, as well as luxury behemoth LVMH, are all reportedly in the running to take a stake in high-end cosmetic brand, Aesop, that could value the Australian brand at USD 2 billion or more, according to a Bloomberg report.

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Natura & Co., Aesop’s parent company, is reportedly working with Bank of America Corp. and Morgan Stanley as it explores the sale of a stake in its business, according to a rumour that first surfaced last year.

Deliberations are ongoing and there’s no certainty they’ll result in any offers for a stake in Aesop, the report added.

Natura, LVMH, L’Oréal and Shiseido all declined to comment.

In October, the Sao Paulo-based parent company said it was assessing options to add value to its Aesop brand, including a possible IPO or spinoff.

Founded some 30 years ago in Melbourne by Dennis Paphitis, Natura acquired a acquired a 65 percent stake for AUD 48 million in cash in 2012, in a deal that also saw Natura take back control of Aesop distributors.

In its most recent trading update in November, Aesop said its third-quarter net revenue increased 8.9 percent in local currency and 21.5 percent in constant currency.