Boots owner plans £ 5bn sale from drugstore chain Business

Until recently, Boots was the subject of criticism for refusing to invest in its stores. But under Sebastian James, the former boss of Dixons Carphone, the stores were modernized in a move that some said set the company up for a sale.

In addition, the weakness of trade has turned a corner. It has long lagged behind Walgreens businesses and suffered as shoppers shun downtowns and towns.

Nonetheless, an investment banker said there would likely be significant interest if an auction took place. “If you’re not going to Boots, where else is he?” They said, referring to the fact that the company has an almost unrivaled retail network in the UK.

A potential auction will fuel speculation that another of Britain’s best-known retailers is about to fall into the hands of a private equity buyer.

Morrisons recently closed a £ 10 billion sale to US buyout firm Clayton Dublier & Rice. And last year, Asda was bought by oil tycoons, the Issa brothers, in conjunction with UK private equity firm TDR Capital.

A sale of Boots is subject to scrutiny by the government. The retailer plays a crucial role in the delivery of pharmacy services and may still have a bigger role to play in the fight against the coronavirus in the years to come.

A spokesperson for Walgreens Boots Alliance said the company had not commented on speculation in the market and that Boots was an important part of the group.

He added, “However, it is correct that WBA announced a new set of priorities and strategic direction in October, which includes a more specific focus on North America and healthcare.

“As highlighted at the last WBA investor conference, the group continues to be very satisfied with the performance of Boots and the international division as a whole.

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This notice was published: 2021-12-03 19:48:48

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