Dove Spas sold after Unilever pulls investment

The Dove Spa chain has been dissolved, following a funding withdrawal from majority shareholder Unilever.

The food and personal care giant pulled its investment from the 16-strong salon chain after eight years of business, following a strategic review.

“Unilever and its Venture unit constantly look at the quality and return on its investment and, in this instance, felt that Dove Spa did not deliver sufficiently to continue investment,” said a Unilever spokesperson.

One spa, located in Poulton near Blackpool, has closed, resulting in the loss of two jobs. The remaining 15 Dove Spas have been sold on to three separate buyers, although the Dove Spa brand name will remain the property of Unilever.

It is understood that all properties in the group were leased rather than owned by Dove Spa and that new contracts are now being negotiated between the buyers and the respective landlords.

The buyers’ identities will remain confidential until contracts are signed, although sources close to Dove Spas said the buyer of nine spas across the south was one of Dove Spa’s directors.

Meanwhile, ive of the spas, located in the Midlands and North West, have been bought by an investor previously unrelated to Dove and are set to be renamed Tranquil Spas, according to reports. The remaining salon was sold to an individual buyer.

The 15 acquired salons will continue to trade as Dove Spas for a maximum of six months while contracts are finalised and existing stock is used up.

We first broke this story in the October issue of Professional Beauty magazine. Make sure you're always first to hear the news by subscribing. A print & digital subscription is £37 or a digital-only subscription gives you every full issue in a digital format for just £4.99 a year.