Two buyout giants have teamed up to launch a multibillion pound takeover bid for high street chemist Boots, according to news reports.
Bain Capital and CVC Capital Partners are reportedly putting together a joint bid for the 172-year-old chain after the firm was reported to be lined up for sale by owner Walgreens Boots Alliance in December, according to Sky News.
Bain and CVC are being advised by bankers at Lazard as they work on a plan to acquire the chain, which is understood to be predicated on substantial investment in its digital, beauty and healthcare services offerings.
The takeover bid comes after Walgreens employed advisers from Goldman Sachs to explore a potential sale of the pharmacy chain in December at a potential valuation of around £10bn, City AM understands.
The chain is also expected to be subject to a number of other offers from private equity firms as part of the process being run by Goldman.
Responding to reports of a sale in December, the company said: “Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) does not comment on market speculation and Boots is an important part of the Group.”
“However, it is accurate that WBA 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 WBA investor conference, the Group continues to be very pleased with the performance of Boots and the International division as a whole.