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Boots owner WBA holds talks with potential buyers for £7 billion sale

Sophie Smith
14 May 2024

Boots owner Walgreens Boots Alliance is contacting potential buyers to sell the British health and beauty retailer. 

The company is working with advisers to hold preliminary discussions with prospective bidders, according to Bloomberg.

It is believed to be seeking £7 billion for the high street retailer, which recently reported a 3% rise in sales for the second quarter, reflecting growth across all categories and an increased retail market share.

The news comes after speculation mounted for months that WBA might be looking to sell Boots. Reports last year suggested that the US-based company was considering a £7 billion London listing of the high street chain as it looked to offload the business.

This came just weeks after Boots offloaded its pension scheme to financial services company Legal & General in a £4.8 billion deal.

The move, which was said to be a precursor to the sale of Boots, leaves it up to Legal & General to pay members’ pensions directly to them, winding up the old Boots pension scheme.

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".

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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