Two investment firms in alleged joint bid for Boots UK as several confirm company review

Sky News reported yesterday (January 11), US private equity firm Bain Capital and UK firm CVC Capital were pursuing a multi-billion pound takeover of Boots UK – the UK’s largest pharmacy and health and beauty chain , with more than 2,200 stores and approximately 50,000 employees.

Estimates suggest the sale could generate £10 billion, The Guardian reported yesterday.

Bain Capital did not confirm whether it was making an offer to buy the multiple when approached by C+D.

CVC Capital was also approached for comment.

Strategic business review confirmed

Walgreens Boots Alliance announced “a new set of priorities and strategic direction for the group in October” last year, to focus more on North America and healthcare, a spokesperson told C+D in December.

A Boots spokesperson confirmed to C+D this morning (January 12) that the strategic review announced by Walgreens Boots Alliance will focus primarily on its “successful” Boots business and the No7 Beauty brand.

“This strategic review is at an exploratory stage and further announcements will be made in due course once the right decision has been made for the future of Boots and for all stakeholders,” they added.

In a conference call detailing Walgreens Boots Alliance’s latest financial results last week (January 6), the company’s senior executives Roz Brewer and James Kehoe made no mention of the potential sale of Boots UK.

However, they reported that the multiple “continues to recover well” from its 2020 losses in the UK, marking an 8.8% increase in pharmacy sales compared to the September-November period of the previous year. .

Rumors that Boots’ parent company was considering selling its UK branch first emerged on December 4 last year, when it was also reported that Boots could be ‘split off’ into a listed company .

In June last year, Walgreens Boots Alliance completed the £4.43 billion sale of its wholesale subsidiary Alliance Healthcare to AmerisourceBergen. Despite the sale, Alliance Healthcare will remain Boots’ distribution partner until 2031, the company announced at the time.

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