Boots owner to explore £10bn sale of pharmacy chain

The parent company of Boots is reportedly considering putting its pharmacy chain on the market next year for an estimated £10 billion.
A potential stock market listing could also be considered, as well as a private sale.
// WBA is lining up Goldman Sachs advisers to look into a potential sale of the pharmacy
// A potential stock market listing could also be considered, as well as a private sale.
// The news comes as Boots reported a sales rebound in October as a result of lockdown restrictions being eased

The parent company of Boots is reportedly considering putting its pharmacy chain on the market next year for an estimated £10 billion.

According to Sky News, the US retail giant, Walgreen Boots Alliance (WBA), is lining up Goldman Sachs advisers to look into a potential sale of the pharmacy.

A potential stock market listing could also be considered, as well as a private sale.


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In a statement, WBA said that while it does not comment on “market speculation”, and said Boots, which employs 55,000 people and has 2200 stores, is “an important part” of the group.

However, the company said it is “accurate” that the WBA announced a “renewed set of priorities and strategic direction” for the group in October, which includes a more pointed focus on North America and on healthcare.

“As underlined during the last WBA investor conference, the group continues to be very pleased with the performance of Boots and the international division as a whole,” the group said.

“In line with the group’s long-term healthcare strategy, Boots UK continues to expand its healthcare offering.

“Furthermore, Boots.com continues to grow above expectations having more than doubled sales when compared to pre-pandemic levels.”

The news comes as Boots reported a sales rebound in October as a result of lockdown restrictions being eased.

In the final quarter of its financial year to August 31, the company saw like-for-like sales increase by 12.8 per cent to $34.3 billion (£25 billion) for the period.

WBA highlighted that it benefited from a strong operational performance from Boots, with growth for both its retail and pharmacy arms.

Boots managing director Sebastian James said sales through its online business had doubled against pre-pandemic levels, with the firm maintaining this growth despite returning high street footfall.

Walgreens Boots Alliance was formed in 2014 after Walgreens bought the 55 per cent stake in the UK and Switzerland-based Alliance Boots that it did not already own.

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