Aesop the cosmetics empire established by a Greek Australian has been acquired for a sum of $2.53 billion.

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L'Oreal is set to acquire the luxury cosmetics brand Aesop, founded in Melbourne, from Natura & Co Holding, a Brazilian owner, for $US2.53 billion ($3.7 billion), making it the largest deal for a luxury brand in Australian history.

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Aesop Store

Natura had been considering the sale of Aesop as part of a larger overhaul to streamline the company and reduce costs under the new CEO, Fabio Barbosa. Aesop, established in 1987 by Melbourne hairdresser Dennis Paphitis, started as a response to the poor quality of haircare products available on the market.

The brand expanded into skincare and now has nearly 400 stores globally across 27 markets, known for its unique, sustainable store designs centred around a sink and minimalist aesthetic.

Natura & Co bought a 65% stake in Aesop in 2012 for $US71.6 million and took full ownership in 2016, with Paphitis stepping away from the business to serve as an executive advisor to the board.

Who is Greek Australian Dennis Paphitis?

"Mecca Brands founder Dennis Paphitis has been a driving force behind the company's success, with his vision and leadership helping to establish the brand as a major player in the beauty industry."

"Dennis Paphitis, the founder of Mecca Brands, has played a pivotal role in propelling the company to success. His exceptional vision and strong leadership have been instrumental in establishing the brand as a significant player in the competitive beauty industry."

Another industry insider who worked in the early days with the entrepreneur said he was never in it for the money, and it was possible he would regard the eye-watering price tag as “equal parts proud and obscene”.

Short Profile

Name: Dennis Paphitis
Place of birth: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
DOB: 1963
Occupation: Founder of Aesop

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