Top globals guide Aēsop’s $3.7bn sale to L'Oréal

The cross-border transaction is being touted as the biggest one involving an Australian luxury brand

Top globals guide Aēsop’s $3.7bn sale to L'Oréal

Several leading global firms have guided the $3.7bn sale of major luxury cosmetics brand Aēsop to L'Oréal – a deal that’s being touted as the biggest one involving an Australian luxury brand.

The firms put together multidisciplinary, cross-order teams to work on the transaction given its complexity and how it spanned multiple jurisdictions. Baker McKenzie provided advice to seller Natura & Co in collaboration with Trench Rossi Watanabe Advogados (São Paulo) and Davis Polk (London); meanwhile, MinterEllison teamed up with MinterEllisonRuddWatts (New Zealand) as well as Latham & Watkins to assist L'Oréal.

This deal, which was signed on 3 April, also marks L'Oréal’s largest brand acquisition, according to MinterEllison. The sale is set to complete by Q3 this year following regulatory approvals.

Natura & Co had held full ownership of Aēsop since 2016, following its initial investment in the brand in 2012. Baker McKenzie indicated that the sale of Aēsop “marks a new development cycle for the group” – Natura & Co intends to apply the proceeds to the expansion of the other brands it owns, which includes Avon, Natura and The Body Shop.

“Natura & Co’s investment over the last decade has seen Aēsop evolve into a global super brand available across luxury retail, beauty, and hotels and restaurants, operating about 400 points of sale across the Americas, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Asia”, Baker McKenzie co-lead partner John Walker said. “Baker McKenzie is delighted to have assisted Natura & Co with the sale of this iconic Australian luxury beauty brand”.

Walker led the firm’s Australia team alongside fellow partner Lance Sacks.

Meanwhile, MinterEllison’s team was headed by partners Louella Stone and Siobhan Doherty. The team consisted of legal experts in the fields of corporate, foreign investment, competition, employment, privacy, finance, property and tax.

Paris corporate partner Pierre-Louis Cléro helmed the Latham & Watkins deal team.

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