Economy

Boots takeover in doubt amid financing struggles

The auction of Boots is at risk of falling apart as debt markets seize up and consumer confidence drops

There are reportedly growing concerns that the proposed takeover of Boots could collapse as the ongoing cost-of-living impacts prospective buyers and lenders. 

According to The Sunday Times, the news comes as New York-based Apollo and Mukesh Ambani reportedly teamed up with a bid of £5.5bn earlier this month – which currently sits £1.5bn below Walgreens Boots Alliance’s (WBA) original asking price.

Another bid from Asda owners the Issa brothers and TDR, which has been muted, reportedly may also not come to fruition as the pair struggle to raise funds. 

The paper reported that a source close to the situation said: “It’s looking tough. The debt markets are closed.” 

Private equity giants CVC and Bain also withdrew its intention to offer after it was revealed it would only pay £4bn for the pharmacy chain. 

The health and beauty retailer is reporting discretionary spending from its shoppers amid 40-year high inflation. Boots trades from more than 2,000 stores and also employs over 50,000 people, which makes it one of the UK’s biggest private sector employers.

Walgreens is expected to update the market on the state of the sale process at its third quarter results on June 30.

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