The Body Shop’s Administrators Consider CVA as Rescue Path

The high street beauty retailer Body Shop has agreed to sell its 250 stores in a £207million deal after struggling with profitability.

Insolvency practitioners overseeing The Body Shop’s affairs are contemplating a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) as part of a strategic move to save one of Britain’s well-loved high street brands.

FRP Advisory, the appointed administrators, have disclosed plans for a potential CVA, which would entail engaging in discussions with landlords to secure rent reductions and address other creditor concerns. The proposed CVA seeks to facilitate The Body Shop’s exit from administration and enable its continued operation under the ownership of Aurelius, the investment firm that acquired the brand just months ago.

The collapse of The Body Shop into administration earlier this year underscored the challenges confronting the retail stalwart, founded nearly fifty years ago by Dame Anita Roddick and Gordon Roddick. Aurelius assumed ownership amidst a bleak financial scenario, characterized by adverse cash positions attributed to poor financial performance in the preceding year and depleted stock levels post-Christmas trading.

Aurlius encountered immediate cash flow challenges, exacerbated by unexpected costs and terminated banking facilities, precipitating a substantial funding shortfall exceeding £100 million. The strain prompted the closure of nearly half of The Body Shop’s UK stores and significant job losses at its headquarters.

Despite these setbacks, FRP remains optimistic about The Body Shop’s prospects, envisioning a revitalized brand poised for long-term profitability. The proposed CVA aims to provide a lifeline for the iconic retailer, allowing it to reposition itself as a modern, dynamic beauty brand.

While the specifics of the CVA proposal are yet to be finalised, FRP anticipates unsecured creditors to receive dividends in due course, although the exact size remains undetermined.

Aurelius’s ongoing financial support during the administration process underscores its commitment to sustaining The Body Shop’s operations amidst the restructuring efforts. Notably, The Body Shop’s businesses across Europe and parts of Asia had been divested to a family office prior to the UK arm’s insolvency.

Despite facing challenges in recent years and increased competition, The Body Shop’s legacy as a trailblazer in environmental advocacy and cruelty-free cosmetics endures, reflecting its enduring significance on British high streets.

As The Body Shop navigates its path forward under new ownership and amidst ongoing restructuring, stakeholders remain hopeful that the brand’s distinctive ethos and enduring legacy will continue to resonate with consumers in an evolving retail landscape.

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The Body Shop’s Administrators Consider CVA as Rescue Path