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Boots owner WBA dismisses sale plans as it seeks to "unlock value" of business

Sophie Smith
28 June 2024

Boots owner Walgreen Boots Alliance has dismissed plans for a multibillion-pound sale of the British health and beauty retailer.

It comes after the company's latest trading update saw its share price fall to its lowest level since 1997, as it announced plans to shut more of its underperforming US shops following a strategic review.

Boots, however, continued its "positive momentum" during the quarter, with WBA chief executive Tim Wentworth saying he will retain ownership of the retailer as he attempts to overhaul the business.

"Our review of Boots UK showed that we have attractive options to unlock value in this business," Wentworth told The Telegraph.

"While we believe there is significant interest in Boots at the right time, its growth, strategic strength and cash flow remain key contributors to the company. We are committed to continuing to invest in Boots UK and find innovative ways for this business to fulfil its potential."

The high street chain delivered a 6% increase in sales for the three months ending 31 May 2024, with growth across all categories.

It saw digital sales rise 13.8%, with app sales growing "significantly" in the quarter. Meanwhile, in-store sales were boosted by increased footfall in flagship, destination health and beauty and travel stores.


Walgreens Boots Alliance, also known as WBA, was formed through the combination of Walgreens and Alliance Boots in 2014.

The transaction brought together two retail giants with "iconic brands, complementary geographic footprints, shared values and a heritage of trusted healthcare services through pharmaceutical wholesaling and community pharmacy care, dating back more than 100 years".

The latest news comes after speculation mounted for months that Walgreens might be looking to sell the British business.

Boots was also previously put up for sale with a price tag of £7 billion in 2022. This was later called off after failure to find a suitable buyer.

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