Potential bidders for Boots have two weeks to make an offer
Companies eyeing a potential bid for Boots UK have been given until the end of this month to submit a first-round offer, the Times has reported.
The newspaper reported on Saturday that Boots UK managing director Seb James met with some of the companies expected to make a bid for the multiple last week, alongside Boots’ advisers from Goldman Sachs.
At the end of January parent company Walgreens Boots Alliance kicked off the formal sales process by sending information to potential buyers in anticipation of initial bids.
Possible bidders for the company include Asda owners TDR Capital, as well as private equity firms Bain Capital and CVC Capital, which have prepared a joint bid.
“Senior sources” told the Times that despite early speculation that J Sainsbury may submit an offer, this was ultimately unlikely due to concerns the UK’s competition watchdog may quash any resulting deal.
A potential Bain/CVC bid may be a frontrunner in sales talks, with CVC managing partner Dominic Murphy having orchestrated a previous Boots takeover and continuing to sit on the WBA board.
At around 2,200 stores and roughly 55,000 employees, Boots is the UK’s largest community pharmacy multiple.
Estimates of its sales price have varied considerably, with some reporting that it could go for as much as £10bn. However, other industry commentators have suggested a figure somewhere between £6bn and £7bn is more realistic.
Boots has been approached for comment.