Boots sale put on hold as Walgreens weighs options

Walgreens Boots Alliance has reportedly put plans for a potential initial public offering of Boots on the back burner as it evaluates its ownership of the UK chemist chain.

According to sources cited by Bloomberg, Walgreens is now exploring other options for Boots following weeks of informal talks with potential buyers of the business, including private equity firms. The company had reportedly set a price tag of around £7 billion for the British high street mainstay.

Deliberations are ongoing, and Walgreens has made no final decisions on its future ownership of Boots, the report notes, with a spokesperson for the firm telling Bloomberg that it is “is conducting a strategic review of our assets to drive sustainable long-term shareholder value,” adding that “all options are on the table.”

Shares of Walgreens have lost roughly half their value in the last 12 months, giving the company a market capitalisation of $13.7 billion.

Walgreens revived discussions on a potential exit from Boots last year, almost 18 months after scrapping a planned sale. A sale would undo a blockbuster trans-Atlantic merger that took place in stages beginning more than a decade ago.

Boots has previously attracted interest from billionaire Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Industries, as well as private equity firms TDR Capital and Apollo Global Management.

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