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Those with knowledge of the situation indicated that L’Oreal SA and Permira are two of the suitors vying for a stake in the premium cosmetics company Aesop.

According to the persons, the French skincare company and private equity firm moved on to a second round of bidding for the business. According to them, the Famille C Participations investment entity, owned by the French cosmetics company Clarins SAS’s family, is also participating in the auction.

Brazilian cosmetics company Natura & Co. is selling the stake, and if a transaction is reached, Aesop’s worth may reach $2 billion. Binding proposals must be submitted in the upcoming weeks, the people said on condition of anonymity because they were sharing sensitive material.

Other financial and strategic bidders might show up since no final choices on the share sale’s size have been made. According to the sources, buyout firm KKR & Co. has also been researching the asset, and Bloomberg News previously reported that companies like Japanese cosmetics company Shiseido Co. were considering bids.

Famille C Participations, KKR, L’Oreal, Natura, and Permira representatives declined to comment.

Aesop’s value might be unlocked through a potential initial public offering (IPO) or spinoff, according to Natura, a Sao Paulo-based company, which announced its plans in October. The corporation began to push towards a stake sale in 2022 due to challenging markets for fresh listings. The action is a component of a larger reform being carried out by Fabio Barbosa, who assumed the position of CEO last year.

Natura is working with Bank of America Corp. and Morgan Stanley as it explores the sale of a stake in Aesop, people familiar with the matter said previously.

Founded in 1987, Melbourne, Australia-based Aesop manufactures a range of creams and lotions for skin, hair and body. Natura acquired a majority stake in the business in 2013.