Boots owner says high interest in firm means it could reach its hoped-for price
A possible £7 billion price tag for the up-for-sale retailer Boots hasn’t put off potential buyers, according to a report.
The boss of the UK health & beauty business, owned by US giant Walgreens Boots Alliance, has told the BBC there’s still “a lot of interest” in the group amid fears sale interest is faltering.
There had been concerns that those interested in buying the business might not be prepared to pay the asking price with some analysts suggesting offers could come in several billions short.
Since WBA announced in December it was planning to sell the chain, a number of companies have been named as potential bidders.
In an interview with the BBC, Boots chief executive Seb James said: “There’s certainly a lot of interest [from potential bidders].”
Four have made pitches for Boots, including major private equity houses Apollo, TDR Capital and Sycamore, and India’s billionaire investor Mukesh Ambani.
Early this month, Boots announced sales jumped 15.2% in the quarter to 28 February, driven by a 22% lift in like-for-like sales.
It said the performance was underpinned by improving high street footfall, rocketing online sales and “particularly strong” demand in the beauty segment. At the time, James noted it was a “very exciting time” for the chain.
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