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Last Updated: Friday, 17 March 2006, 16:22 GMT
Body Shop agrees L'Oreal takeover
Body Shop store in London
High Street beauty products retailer Body Shop has agreed to be taken over by French cosmetics giant L'Oreal in a deal worth 652m.

The offer of 300p a share from the French firm is a hefty premium on its closing price of 268p.

French L'Oreal makes a wide range of cosmetics, including Ambre Solaire sun cream and Lancome lipsticks.

Body Shop - with its ethically-sourced products - was one of the icons of the High Street in the 1980s.

Its fortunes have been hit in recent years as rivals started making similar products, but the retailer fought back and now has more than 2,000 stores in 53 countries.

Perfect scents

However, in January its shares tumbled nearly 20% after the retailer warned that lower-than-expected Christmas sales in the UK and US would hit profits.

For both Gordon and I, this is without doubt the best 30th anniversary gift The Body Shop could have received
Dame Anita Roddick

"We have always had great respect for The Body Shop's success and for the strong identity and values created by its outstanding founder, Dame Anita Roddick," said L'Oreal's chairman Sir Lindsay Owen-Jones.

"A partnership between our companies makes perfect sense."

L'Oreal said it planned to operate the British company as a stand-alone business with Anita Roddick remaining in her current role as consultant.

Anita and Gordon Roddick, who founded Body Shop 30 years ago and still own 18% of its stock, are expected to make 130m ($228m) from the deal.

"For both Gordon and I, this is without doubt the best 30th anniversary gift The Body Shop could have received," said Dame Anita.

The offer represents a 34.2% premium to The Body Shop's closing price of 223.5 pence on 21 February, the last day prior to press speculation of a possible bid.

Adrian Bellamy, chairman of The Body Shop, said: "For the shareholders, L'Oreal's offer is a significant premium to the share price and I believe provides an opportunity for them to now realise fully the prospects for the group on a stand alone basis."

L'Oreal said the Body Shop brand would be kept and the company would continue to be based in and run independently from its head office in Littlehampton, West Sussex.




BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
Anita Roddick's views on the takeover by L'Oreal



SEE ALSO:
L'Oreal scenting Body Shop offer
23 Feb 06 |  Business
Body Shop issues profits warning
11 Jan 06 |  Business
Anita Roddick's new wealth agenda
15 Dec 05 |  Business
Body Shop beats High Street blues
28 Apr 05 |  Business
Body Shop begins turnaround
30 Apr 03 |  Business
The end of Anita's heyday
12 Feb 02 |  Business


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