Saturday, May 6, 2017

Body Shop to Go PEU

Dame Anita Roddick started The Body Shop in 1976.  By the mid 1990's Roddick was well known as a maverick leader. Consider these Roddick quotes:

Over the past decade... while many businesses have pursued what I call 'business as usual,' I have been part of a different, smaller business movement, one that tried to put idealism back on the agenda.

Years ago nobody was elected on the economic ticket. It was either the education platform, or it was health or it was other issues. It is only recently that economic values have superceded every other human value.

I am still looking for the modern equivalent of those Quakers who ran successful businesses, made money because they offered honest products and treated their people decently... This business creed, sadly, seems long forgotten.

At The Body Shop we had always been measured by how many jobs we had created, and I got a major award from the Queen on that.

If I can't do something for the public good, what the hell am I doing?
L'Oreal purchased The Body Shop in 2006  and is ready to unload the company. Private equity underwriters (PEU) lined up to bid on The Body Shop.  Reuters reported Bain Capital, CVC, Advent and BC Partners intended to make an offer.

Anita Roddick died from a brain hemorrhage in 2007.  I imagine Dame Roddick in heaven appalled of the prospect of corporate flippers working their dastardly deeds on her company and its 22,000 employees. 

I believe in businesses where you engage in creative thinking, and where you form some of your deepest relationships. If it isn't about the production of the human spirit, we are in big trouble
Private equity crushes the human spirit, values money over people, and puts returns for billionaires over the public good.  There's big trouble ahead for a PEU owned Body Shop.