// Lloyds Pharmacy owner considers selling chemist chain for £400m
// McKesson is working with bankers at Barclays on a disposal of the business
// In 2016, the company bought Sainsbury’s network of nearly 300 in-store chemists
The US owner of the Lloyds Pharmacy chain, McKesson has reportedly hired bankers to explore a £400 million sale of its British operations as the chemist chain struggles with rising costs and government funding cuts.
McKesson is working with bankers at Barclays on a disposal of the business and had begun contacting prospective bidders in recent weeks, Sky News reported.
The company considers itself a competitor in the UK to Boots and its parent company, Walgreens Boots Alliance.
McKesson owns Lloyds Pharmacy, which operates a network of more than 1400 sites across the UK, employing more than 17,000 people.
The company bought Lloyds in a $8.3 billion takeover of its German parent Celesio in 2014.
In 2016, the company bought Sainsbury’s network of nearly 300 in-store chemists.
McKesson also owns All About Health (AAH), the UK’s biggest drugs wholesaler, Masta, a travel clinic chain, and John Bell & Croyden, which labels itself as the Queen’s pharmacist since 1958.
It is unclear whether all McKesson’s UK subsidiaries are included in the sale.
Lloyds Pharmacy reported sales of £1.97 billion and pre-tax losses of £196 million for the year to the end of March 2019.
Last year, it shut 99 shops and tried to negotiate rent reductions with landlords.