Aesop, the Australian luxury cosmetics brand, is reportedly at the centre of a US$2bn bidding war between beauty's biggest players.
L’Oréal, the world's largest cosmetics conglomerate; LVMH, led by the world's richest man Bernard Arnault; and Japan's leading beauty maker Shiseido are exploring bids to buy a stake in Aesop, according to Bloomberg.
Aesop's current owner Natura & Co, the Brazilian beauty manufacturer, reportedly first considered selling a minority stake in the brand in December 2022.
A possible IPO was considered but volatile markets swung Natura to focus on a stake sale.
Bank of America and Morgan Stanley have been appointed to work with Natura regarding the possible sale.
Natura also owns The Body Shop and Avon.
Founded by Dennis Paphitis in 1987, Aesop is known for its minimalistic design-centric approach to retail and packaging.
Aesop now has nearly 250 stories in 27 markets, and is a popular toiletry of choice among high-end restaurants, hotels and bars.
Natura acquired a majority stake of Aesop in 2012 and took complete ownership in 2016.
The sale follows the appointment of Fabio Barbosa as CEO in 2022, who is now leading an overhaul of Natura.