Boot owner ‘assesses’ potential £ 5bn sale

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Boots’ parent company is reportedly considering bringing the UK drugstore chain to market next year for an estimated £ 5bn.

Walgreen Boots Alliance (WBA), the U.S. healthcare group that has held a stake in Boots since 2012, is lining up advisers at Goldman Sachs to consider a potential sale next year, according to Sky News.

A possible stock exchange listing for the Nottingham retailer and pharmacist, which has more than 2,000 outlets and employs around 55,000 people, could be considered, along with a private sale.

The WBA said it would not comment on “market speculation” and that Boots was “a significant part of the group.”

However, the company said in a statement, “It is correct that WBA announced a new set of priorities and strategic directions for the group in October, which includes a stronger focus on North America and healthcare. health.

“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.

“In line with the group’s long-term healthcare strategy, Boots UK continues to expand its healthcare offering. Additionally, boots.com continues to grow above expectations, having more than doubled sales from pre-pandemic levels. “

Speculation about a potential sale of Boots has increased in recent months given its new business focus and the $ 6.5 billion (£ 4.4 billion) sale of its European distribution arm, Alliance Healthcare, in June of this year at AmerisourceBergen.

Boots, which was founded by Quaker John Boot in 1849, joined Alliance Unichem in 2006, ceding control to Italian billionaire Stefano Pessina. The famous negotiator then made an even bigger merger with WBA, of which he is currently chairman.

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