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Walgreens pulls £5bn Boots sale

The global financial markets have suffered unexpected and dramatic change.

Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) has announced its decision to keep its Boots and No7 Beauty Company businesses under its existing ownership. 

This marks the conclusion of the review that began in January in line with the Company’s strategic priorities.

WBA had been encouraged by productive discussions held with a range of parties, receiving significant interest from prospective buyers. However, since launching the process, the global financial markets have suffered “unexpected and dramatic change”. 

WBA was approached by suitors such as Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani, valuing the business at about £5bn. 

The Walgreens merger deal for Boots in 2014 valued the firm at about £9bn at the time.

As a result of market instability “severely impacting financing availability’, WBA said no third party has been able to make an offer that “adequately reflects the high potential value of Boots and No7 Beauty Company”. 

WBA has decided that it is in “the best interests of shareholders to keep focusing on the further growth and profitability of the two businesses”.

Rosalind Brewer, CEO, said: “We have now completed a thorough review of Boots and No7 Beauty Company, with the outcome reflecting rapidly evolving and challenging financial market conditions beyond our control. It is an exciting time for these businesses, which are uniquely positioned to continue to capture future opportunities presented by the growing healthcare and beauty markets.

“The board and I remain confident that Boots and No7 Beauty Company hold strong fundamental value, and longer term, we will stay open to all opportunities to maximise shareholder value for these businesses and across our company.”

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