High Street

Issa brothers eye Boots takeover

According to the Mail on Sunday, the acquisition of the £10bn business is believed to have been discussed at a senior level

The Issa brothers are reportedly eyeing a takeover of high street giant Boots, which would see the Asda owners acquire more than 2,000 pharmacies and stores across the UK. 

According to the Mail on Sunday, the acquisition of the £10bn business is believed to have been discussed at a senior level, but while discussions are at an “early stage”, it remains unclear whether the business has “made a decision to proceed”. 

The publication added that a formal auction of the business was “likely to begin in the coming weeks when information on the chain has been distributed among parties that have expressed an interest”. 

One source told the paper that a potential takeover would likely move to the Competition and Markets Authority for approval, with another adding: “Like Boots, supermarkets have big health and beauty ranges so the CMA would take a look.” 

The news comes only a week after buyout firms Bain Capital and CVC Capital Partners reportedly joined forces in an attempt to launch a takeover bid for Boots.

According to Sky News, Bain and CVC are assembling a joint bid and are said to have hired advisers from Lazard to help put a potential offer together.

Reports also suggested that if Bain and CVC are successful they would move forward with “substantial investment” in their digital, beauty and healthcare services offerings.

CVC managing partner Dominic Murphy currently acts as a director for Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) after helping to orchestrate the £11bn takeover of WBA by KKR back in 2007. As such, it was said it is likely he will have to recuse himself from board discussions about the sale.

Retail Sector has contacted Asda for comment. 

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