Shares in the US owner of Boots pharmacy have fallen slightly in reaction to the news a buyer has finally been found for the UK high street chain. Speculation has been rife about where the pharmacy business might end up since Walgreens put it up for sale earlier this year and at one point it looked like it might find its way back into public hands.
But private equity has swooped in with a binding bid from Reliance Industries and Apollo Global Management. The latter lost out to the Issa brothers during the race to snap up supermarket chain Asda and market watchers are wondering if the Issas will counter with a rival bid.
Danni Hewson AJ Bell financial analyst comments on markets: “The business of health took on even greater importance during the pandemic. At a time when the NHS is struggling to play catch up, complimentary services are more in demand than ever and the Boots brand and location on our high streets carries weight. There are huge opportunities for a new owner to revolutionise the business, revitalise the ageing store portfolio and create wellness hubs or mix up the retail offer – a coffee whilst you wait to get your eyes checked, a healthy snack as you nip in for your repeat prescription.”