Bakers guides Body Shop on L’Oreal takeover

Bakers guides Body Shop on L’Oreal takeoverIt has been a busy month in the fast-paced world of mergers and acquisitions (M&A), but one of the most high-profile deals was L’Oreal’s agreed takeover bid for retailer The Body Shop.

Baker & McKenzie scooped the lead advisory role on the £652m deal. The firm won the instruction from long-term client The Body Shop. L’Oreal is also a Bakers client, but the French cosmetics giant waived the conflict to allow the firm to act on the deal.

The Body Shop corporate relationship partner Bernd Ratzke led the Bakers team along with James Burdett. Associate Robert Adam, who has just returned from secondment at the Takeover Panel, also advised on regulatory aspects of the deal.

“This was a deal that was just so exciting to be a part of,” said Ratzke. “The Body Shop is 30 years old and it seems to have come to the view that it’s ready to be part of a bigger organisation with a global brand portfolio.

“We’ve had a longstanding relationship with The Body Shop, so it made sense that they asked their usual advisers to act for them in this case.”

L’Oreal instructed Linklaters corporate partner Richard Godden on the deal.

In March, the French cosmetics giant was forced to make an announcement about its interest in The Body Shop to the Takeover Panel, after The Body Shop’s shares rose by more than 10 per cent.

L’Oreal said it planned to operate the UK company as a standalone business, with founder Anita Roddick remaining in her current role as consultant. Anita and Gordon Roddick founded The Body Shop 30 years ago and still own 18 per cent of its stock.

L’Oreal’s offer represented a 35 per cent premium to The Body Shop’s closing price of 223.5p.

L’Oreal said The Body Shop brand would be retained and that the company would continue to be based in, and run independently from, its head office in West Sussex.