Boots owner Walgreens abandons £5bn sale of business

// Boots owner Walgreens ditches sale of health and beauty retailer after suitors failed to meet asking price
// Walgreens said it had received “significant interest from prospective buyers”

Boots owner Walgreens Boots Alliance has abandoned the sale of the health and beauty retailer after suitors failed to meet its asking price.

The US giant said that no interested party had made an offer that “adequately reflects the high potential value of Boots”.

WBA said it had received “significant interest from prospective buyers” and had been “encouraged by productive discussions” with potential bidders.

READ MORE: Boots suitor lines up lenders to finance £5.5bn takeover deal

However, the company blamed “unexpected and dramatic change” in global financial markets for “severely impacting financing availability”.

It said on Tuesday that it had decided to retain ownership of Boots after an auction process lasting for several months.

WBA said it had conducted a thorough strategic review but would now keep control of the “successful” Nottingham-based company.

A number of potential buyers had been circling the retailer, including Asda owners the Issa brothers, and a consortium fronted by CVC Capital Partners and Bain Capital.

Meanwhile, Apollo and India’s Reliance Industries had emerged as front runners with a joint offer, but their bid, tabled earlier this month, has fallen more than £1 billion below WBA’s £7 billion asking price.

The group said it will now “continue investing in the future” of Boots and No7.

WBA chief executive Rosalind Brewer said: “We have now completed a thorough review of Boots and No7 Beauty Company, with the outcome reflecting rapidly evolving and challenging financial market conditions beyond our control.

“It is an exciting time for these businesses, which are uniquely positioned to continue to capture future opportunities presented by the growing healthcare and beauty markets.

“The board and I remain confident that Boots and No7 Beauty Company hold strong fundamental value, and longer term, we will stay open to all opportunities to maximise shareholder value for these businesses and across our company.”

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  1. Boots have some big stores in town centres that need ‘ suring up’ my local one ( Northampton ) is over 2 floors and the amount of redundant space and duplication is well over index that they are paying business rates on is crazy …


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