A RENOWNED high street beauty brand could be sold to the owner of Lloyds Pharmacy and Footasylum within weeks.

Aurelius Group is in a pole position to buy The Body Shop from its owner Natura and Co, according to Sky News.

Sources said this weekend that a deal could be signed in November.

It comes just over a month after Natura and Co said that it had authorised bosses to explore "strategic alternatives" for the retailer.

At the time the Brazilian beauty conglomerate added the move could involve a "potential sale" of The Body Shop.

It is not clear at this stage whether a sale of the company would see stores close or jobs lost.

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The Body Shop opened its first UK store in 1976 in Brighton and now operates across 250 stores in the region.

The retailer is one of the biggest beauty chains in the world, employing 10,000 members of staff in over 70 countries and operates across 3,000 stores.

The Body Shop has long been known for its body butters, soaps and vegan make-up products. 

But its facial skincare ranges have become increasingly popular with beauty fanatics. 

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The Body Shop's Brazilian owners have been working with bankers at Morgan Stanley on the sale and are understood to be keen to conclude a deal before the end of the year.

Aurelius Group acquired the streetwear and sportswear chain Footasylum just over a year ago and also owns the Lloyds Pharmacy group.

Aurelius is said to have seen off competition to buy The Body Shop from rival bidders including Alteri Investors, private equity firm Epiris and Elliott Advisors, the owner of bookseller Waterstones.

Aurelius Group declined to respond to our request for comment.

The news comes in the same week that ASOS group is looking to sell off the Topshop brand.

A disposal of the brand is one of the options being examined by ASOS boss, Jose Antonio Ramos Calamont, to help shore up the company's ailing results.

Fresh reports suggest that ASOS is now in formal talks to offload the brand to the owner of Ted Baker, Reebok and Forever 21, according to The Daily Telegraph.

Authentic Brands Group, founded by Canadian billionaire Jamie Salter, is plotting to acquire Topshop after a failed attempt to buy the business back in 2020.

And any potential takeover deal could mean that Topshop might make a surprise return to the high street just three years after all 300 stores closed overnight.

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However, any sale is not certain to proceed, and it remains unclear how much ASOS might raise from selling the brand.

Shoppers can continue to shop Topshop and Topman-labelled clothing online at ASOS as normal.

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