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3 private equity firms rumoured to bid for Lloydspharmacy this week

Three financial investors are reportedly tabling formal bids for Lloydspharmacy this week, as its American owner is allegedly planning its retreat.

As reported by Sky News earlier this week (July 19), McKesson – Lloydspharmacy’s parent company – is reportedly in talks with three prospective bidders, Aurelius Group, Epiris and HIG Europe, for the sale of its UK business.

McKesson has been rumoured to be selling its UK operations: Lloydspharmacy, which currently employs around 17,000 people; and its UK wholesaler business, All About Health (AAH).

However, a spokesperson for McKesson Europe told C+D today (July 21) that the company will not comment on any press speculation.

Investors decline to comment on speculations

All three investor companies have track records at buying underperforming assets and attempting to revive them, according to the portfolios on their websites.

However, a formal agreement with one of the bidders is not likely to be reached for several weeks, according to Sky News.

Both Epiris and Aurelius declined a request from C+D to comment on market rumours. C+D has also reached out to HIG Europe.

PDA to “protect” Lloydspharmacy workers

Speculations about McKesson looking to sell first started circulating in February. The reason for the rumoured sale is said to be due to concerns about the industry’s financial viability.

At the time, the Pharmacists’ Defence Association (PDA) vowed to protect the employment of the pharmacists working for the multiple, should the rumours be true.

McKesson announced earlier this month (July 7) that it had agreed to sell some of its European business to the Phoenix Group, but would continue to operate the remaining European businesses – in the UK, Norway, Austria, and Denmark – that are not part of the deal.

McKesson UK added at the time that it was looking at “strategic alternatives” for an “eventual exit” from the UK.

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