The Co-op group, which is also selling its farms business, is selling its chemist chain, including over 700 pharmacies employing around 6,500 staff. An outcome is likely in a few weeks.
The firm is trying to recover from huge losses last year of £2.5bn. Management dubbed it a “disastrous year”, with the worst results in its 150-year history.
The bidders for the Co-op pharmacy business include Lloyds Pharmacy and Carlyle Group, with Alliance Boots and one other unnamed firm in contention, according to the Sunday Times.
Russ Brady, head of Co-op group public relations, stated: “We have had a strong level of interest, which reflects the quality of the business and we are now at an advanced stage of the bidding process.”