LVMH, L’Oreal and Shiseido are all vying to buy a stake in Aesop


The Australian cosmetics brand is known for its luxe skin, body and hair care—and may be valued at US$2 billion

Looks like luxury skincare is in with deep-pocketed investors.

Fashion heavyweight LMVH and beauty-industry leader L’Oreal are now the two top names looking to potentially acquire a stake in Australian cosmetics company Aesop, Bloomberg reports. The brand, which may be valued at US$2 billion or more, is renowned for its luxe skin, body and hair care, as well as home fragrances. Shiseido, a Japanese beauty group, is also weighing placing a bid for the company, according to sources familiar with the matter.

In 2012, Brazilian cosmetics maker Natura & Co. agreed to buy a 65 per cent stake in Emeis Holdings, which operates under the Aseop brand name in Australia, Asia, Europe and North America, for a whopping US$71.6 million. Natura’s deal to acquire the company was officially completed in 2016. Fast forward to 2022, when Natura began working with Bank of America Corp. and Morgan Stanley to sell a stake in the skincare brand, which seemingly turned heads.

Tough markets for new listings in 2022 are part of the reason why Natura leaned toward a stake sale at the time. Bloomberg also reports that the move is being orchestrated by Fabio Barbosa, who took over as Natura CEO last year. According to a company filing in October, the brand aimed to unlock value at Aesop by possibly launching an IPO or a spinoff of the business, among other ideas. According to e-commerce platform Oberlo, the global beauty industry market size is set to be worth a staggering US$571.1 billion in 2023.

With that said, selling a stake to LVMH or L’Oreal—both of which manage massive beauty brands from Dior to Maybelline—may do much more than just unlocking Aesop’s potential.

This article was first published on Robb Report USA