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L'Oreal makes $1.14 billion deal with The Body Shop

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Section: International News Geography: Europe UK, France Topics: corporate

March 27, 2006

L'Oreal makes $1.14 billion deal with The Body Shop

by Salvatore Ciolfi

French cosmetic giant L'Oreal is set to takeover "profit with principles" beauty care merchants, The Body Shop. The 652-million-pound ($US 1.14 billion) deal has been approved by 43 per cent of The Body Shop's shareholders, and stands to net its founders, Anita and Gordon Roddick, 118 million pounds. The couple still have an 18 per cent stake in the company, but are no longer involved in the day-to-day operations.

Anita Roddick famously campaigned against animal testing for cosmetic research, a stand that is at odds with the history of L'Oreal. Officially the company states that they have not tested on animals since 1989, but numerous animal rights groups, including NatureWatch, insist the company has continued these tests unabated, and is hiding behind loopholes in EU legislation.

The Body Shop, which was founded 30 years ago in Brighton England, now has 2085 stores in 53 different countries. Its success is based partly on its image as a company dedicated to the use of ethical and fair trade products.

L'Oreal chief executive Sir Lindsay Owen-Jones explains the reasons behind the deal, "A partnership between our companies makes perfect sense. Combining L'Oreal's expertise and knowledge of international markets with the Body Shop's distinct culture and values will benefit both companies."

News of the takeover has already produced financial benefits for shareholders in both companies: The Body Shop's stock price jumped close to 10 per cent in the last week, despite the fact that their sales last year were weaker than expected.

Currently, L'Oreal has no plans to interfere with the company, and has stated that they plan on allowing it to run independently from the UK.

Salvatore Ciolfi

Manchester Online

Reuters

Naturewatch

Independent

BBC

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The Dominion is a monthly paper published by an incipient network of independent journalists in Canada. It aims to provide accurate, critical coverage that is accountable to its readers and the subjects it tackles. Taking its name from Canada's official status as both a colony and a colonial force, the Dominion examines politics, culture and daily life with a view to understanding the exercise of power.

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