India’s richest man makes £5billion bid for Boots Business

India’s richest man has teamed up with US private equity giant Apollo to launch a £5bn bid for Boots.

Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries is part of a consortium that has reportedly submitted a firm bid for the chemical chain.

The move puts investors among the favorites to sweep the international arm of Walgreens, the US retail giant that took control of Boots in 2014 in a deal worth £9billion. , according to Bloomberg.

A rival consortium of Asda owners, the Issa brothers and the capital of TDR, are said to be at odds with a deal.

Walgreens hired bankers from Goldman Sachs to find a buyer late last year. He put a £7billion price tag on the UK chain after selling its wholesale arm in 2021.

The nearly 180-year-old chain with 2,000 stores that employs around 50,000 people has attracted strong interest from buyout funds, with CVC and Bain among early contenders for the business.

Mr Ambani, who has a net worth of $94bn (£70bn), has diversified Reliance beyond owning the world’s largest crude refinery to challenge Amazon and Walmart in the Indian market by boom in online retail.

The Reliance chairman nicknamed ‘Muku’ already owns English country club Stoke Park in Buckinghamshire and 260-year-old toy retailer Hamleys, which he bought for £68million in 2019 through Reliance Retail.

However, the billionaire was edged out in September when private equity consortium Warburg Pincus and Apax Partners launched the winning bid for the Dutch arm of the mobile operator, T-Mobile.

Boots, which is run in the UK by former Currys boss Seb James, reported retail sales rose 22% at the end of March. He said the retailer had a “rejuvenated store portfolio and an increasingly powerful online presence”.

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This notice was published: 2022-06-09 10:36:54

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