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Boots' parent company rumoured to be exploring selling off UK pharmacies

Boots' parent company is rumoured to be "exploring" the sale of its pharmacies in the UK, Sky News has reported.

According to the Sky News report last night (December 3), Boots' owner Walgreens Boots Alliance is asking the bank Goldman Sachs to “advise it on a review of options” for its UK business.

However, the “process is only exploratory” and will not necessarily lead to the health and beauty giant divesting of its UK stores, according “city sources” in the report.

Another option might be for Boots to be “spun off” into a separately listed company, the report suggested.


“Very pleased with Boots' performance”


In a statement to C+D, Walgreens Boots Alliance said it “does not comment on market speculation and Boots is an important part of the group” .

“However, it is accurate that Walgreens Boots Alliance announced a renewed set of priorities and strategic direction for the group in October, which includes a more pointed focus on North America and on healthcare.

“As underlined during the last...investor conference, the group continues to be very pleased with the performance of Boots and the international division as a whole,” the company added.

“In line with the group’s long-term healthcare strategy, Boots UK continues to expand its healthcare offering. Furthermore, continues to grow above expectations having more than doubled sales when compared to pre-pandemic levels.”

C+D has also contacted Boots for comment.

In June, Walgreens Boots Alliance completed on the £4.43 billion sale of its wholesaling arm Alliance Healthcare to AmerisourceBergen. Despite the sale, Alliance Healthcare will stay as Boots' distribution partner until 2031, the company said.

The sale would allow Walgreens Boots Alliance to “increase its focus on expanding its core retail pharmacy businesses”, it said at the time.

The Boots UK sale rumours come a month after McKesson confirmed it was selling its UK businesses – which includes Lloydspharmacy and AAH – to private equity firm Aurelius Group for £477 million.

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