Indian conglomerate Reliance Industries (RIL) and private equity firm Apollo Global Management in a consortium, have made a binding bid for UK pharmacy & chemist chain Boots UK, an arm of US-based Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA). As per sources, the deal is fully backed by committed financing, and is valued at £5-6bn ($6.2-7.5bn). The parent company WBA can keep a minority stake in Boots with the stake size open for negotiation. In December 2021, WBA had put Boots for sale to focus on the healthcare business in the US. Two bidders Bain Capital and CVC Capital Partners had opted out of the process in its early stages. Recently TDR Capital and UK supermarket group Asda made an initial non-binding bid but the current status is unclear. Apollo and RIL expect the deal to allow expanding Boots’ business in Asia. The company has 2000 stores in the UK and is said to be slowly losing market share in some areas. Boots registered an annual revenue of around £6bn ($7.5bn) last year and 45% of it was contributed from services such as prescriptions and vaccinations to the UK’s state-run health service.

Walgreen’ dollar bonds guaranteed by WBA were trading lower with its 4.4% 2042s down over 1.06 points to 83.77, yielding 5.77%.

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