Boots parent may lose billions on sale of multiple

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Boots parent may lose billions on sale of multiple

Walgreens Boots Alliance may stand to lose billions of pounds on selling the multiple as potential suitors balk at the price tag, according to reports.

The Telegraph reported yesterday that a consortium that was initially considered the frontrunner to buy the UK’s largest pharmacy multiple offered three billion less than the asking price before abandoning its bid.

While WBA has reportedly valued the business at £7bn, the CVC-Bain consortium was not willing to go over £4bn and ultimately decided not to lodge an offer. The consortium has indicated it might reconsider if the price were dropped.

The consortium was considered by some to be a strong candidate to be the next owner of Boots due to CVC UK investment head Dominic Murphy’s lengthy history with the multiple and current position on the WBA board.

Potential buyers still in the running include US buyout Apollo Group and Asda’s owners, TDR Capital and the Issa brothers.

It was recently reported that WBA chief operating officer Ornella Barra has said WBA would be willing to maintain a 15-30 per cent stake in Boots UK in order to help bring about a sale.

US-based Walgreens merged with Alliance Boots in 2014 in a deal worth £9bn.  

Boots recently posted promising financial results for the three months to February 28, with overall sales up 15 per cent.

Boots UK managing director Seb James said the company “continues to bounce back strongly from the pandemic… with sustained retail and pharmacy sales growth across all categories”.

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