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Boots' parent company exploring private buyout, says Reuters

Boots is on track to close around 182 pharmacies by September 2020

Boots' parent company is exploring the possibility of a buyout to become a private company, Reuters has reported.

Walgreens Boots Alliance has held “preliminary discussions with some of the world’s largest private equity firms” about the proposed buyout, said Reuters, citing “people familiar with the matter”.

If successful, it would be the “biggest ever leveraged buyout”, Reuters said on Tuesday (November 5).

However, “many” private equity firms have “pushed back on the idea” due to concerns “about Walgreens’ business prospects and the challenges of financing the deal”, Reuters claimed.

Walgreens Boots Alliance declined to comment to C+D.

Even though overall sales for June-August across Walgreens Boots Alliance increased 2.6%, to $34 billion (£26.5bn), compared with the same period last year, adjusted operating income across the group fell 11.1%, the company said in its latest financial results, published last month.

Income drop and pharmacy closures

The business’s adjusted operating income in its retail pharmacy international division – which includes Boots UK – fell to $194 million (£150.7m) for the same period.

Boots is “on track” to close the remaining 182 of a planned 200 branches before September 2020, it said last month.

What do you think about a planned buyout of Walgreens Boots Alliance?

Sharon Stone, Communications

It baffles me why any private alliance would want to purchase this ailing company (Boots .)  Stefano Pessina sucked all the life out of it , then amazingly sold it to the Americans ( I thought they were business savy???)

Linda Hameed, Community pharmacist

What does that mean. Sound scary. I could not understand what it fully meant

N O, Pharmaceutical Adviser

Second that. I am confused by this article. Half cooked. Can someone explain what is Byuing Out that they are talking about? Is walgreen looking for someone to "Buy Out" their entire Boots Alliance business Privately? or are they looking for some Private Institutions to buy a share of this business, to raise money?

James Waldron, Editorial

Hi both,

From my understanding of the reporting, this deal (if successful) would see the entire Walgreens Boots Alliance business taken from a 'public' (ie publically traded) company, to a 'private' one (ie shareholders are no longer able to trade their shares in the open market).

If we learn any more then we'll be sure to update you.


James Waldron, C+D Editor

Paul Dishman, Pharmaceutical Adviser

Which is what happened a decade ago

BHARAT KOTECHA, Locum pharmacist

You must be crazy ! 

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