Following its acquisition of The Body Shop last Thursday, Natura Group is moving quickly to put together a new corporate governance and management structure to accelerate its plans to expand its international footprint.
The company’s new executive chairman is Roberto Marques, who has been serving on Natura’s board. The appointment is subject to approval of Natura’s shareholders. Natura’s three founders — Luiz Seabra, Guilherme Leal and Pedro Passos — will continue as co-chairmen of the board.
Natura said each of its three brands would have its own chief executive officer and executive committee. The three brands are Natura, The Body Shop and Aesop. There are no changes at either Natura or Aesop. Joao Paulo Ferreira at Natura and Michael O’Keeffe at Aesop will continuing on in their ceo roles. The Body Shop, which Natura closed on its acquisition on Thursday, will have a new ceo. Natura said it has identified the individual who will lead The Body Shop, but doesn’t plan on disclosing who that person is until next month. The idea of each brand having its own ceo and executive committee is to allow for full autonomy and a singular focus for the brand.
The Brazilian beauty company said it intends to double The Body Shop’s 2016 earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of $82 million by 2022, and increase EBITDA margin to between 12 percent and 14 percent from its 2016 level of 8.4 percent. There are also plans to step up direct selling in Latin America, and accelerate the international growth of its Natura and Aesop brands.
To accomplish its new goals, the new management structure has its three brand ceo’s becoming part of the company’s Group Operating Committee. Members also will include certain key corporate functions, such as from finance, strategy and business development, operations, innovation and sustainability and a newly created position of chief transformation officer. Robert Chatwin, Natura’s international vice president, will take on the role of chief transformation officer. The operating committee will work with Marques on the company’s overall strategic initiatives. The aim of the operating committee is to work together to leverage the group’s scale.
Peter Saunders, former ceo and chairman of The Body Shop, will join Natura’s board as an independent director, a move that enhance’s the company’s corporate governance.
Marques said, “The acquisition of The Body Shop is a decisive step in Natura’s strategic aim of becoming a global, multibrand and multichannel player in the cosmetics industry with a broad and synergistic product portfolio based on natural ingredients. To build this new group, we are putting in place a lean management structure that aims to combine brand autonomy and focus while encouraging the sharing of best practices and leverage the group’s scale.”
According to Natura, its current financial goal is to deleverage its balance sheet and — by the end of 2022 — return its net debt-to-EBITDA ratio of 1.4 times, where the level was at when it ended 2016. In the short term, the ratio will rise to 3.6 times due to bank debt to fund the one billion euro Body Shop acquisition.
The company plans on making a more detailed financial and strategic presentation in February 2018.
Combined, all three brands have operations in 69 countries, 18,000 employees, 3,200 stores and a network of franchisees. Its sales force number 1.8 million independent sales reps.
Natura was founded in 1969. Aesop is an Australian beauty brand founded in 1987. The Body Shop was founded by Anita Roddick in 1976, in Brighton, England.