Walgreens abandons Boots sale
The US owner of Boots said on Tuesday that it has decided to abandon the sale of the UK chemist chain as it hasn’t been able to attract an adequate offer.
Following a review that began in January, Walgreens Boots Alliance said it has decided keep its Boots and No7 Beauty Company businesses under existing ownership.
"WBA has been encouraged by productive discussions held with a range of parties, receiving significant interest from prospective buyers," it said. "However, since launching the process, the global financial markets have suffered unexpected and dramatic change. As a result of market instability severely impacting financing availability, no third party has been able to make an offer that adequately reflects the high potential value of Boots and No7 Beauty Company."
As a result, Walgreens has decided that it is in the best interests of shareholders to "keep focusing on the further growth and profitability" of the two businesses.
Chief executive officer 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 maximize shareholder value for these businesses and across our company."
Walgreens released the statement after Sky News cited banking sources as saying that the £5bn auction for Boots had faltered badly in recent weeks, with the only bidder to make a binding offer - a consortium of Apollo Global Management and Reliance Industries - pinning its hopes on the steadfastness of a quartet of lenders.