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Walgreens in the Spotlight on Reports Bain, other Firms Want to Buy Boots

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By Dhirendra Tripathi

Investing.com – Walgreens Boots Alliance stock (NASDAQ:WBA) is in the spotlight on a January 1 news report in London’s The Times that private equity firm Bain Capital expressed interest in acquiring the American pharmacy chain’s U.K. business, Boots.

According to the report, Bain approach Walgreens more than two months ago. Boots only owns about a quarter of its stores and may be worth up to $9.4 billion, according to the report.

Supermarket chains and other PE firms like CVC Capital Partners, Carlyle Group, KKR, Advent International, and Clayton, Dubilier&Rice may also be exploring an offer, the Times said.

For the fourth quarter ended August 31, Boots UK comparable pharmacy sales rose over 11% compared with the year-ago quarter, reflecting stronger demand for pharmacy services, notably Covid-19 tests. Comparable retail sales increased 15%, higher than the company’s as a whole.

Boots has been moving into other healthcare businesses, as online retailers become more competitive in the drugstore industry. Led by beauty, Boots has been its retail market share. Boots.com sales have more than doubled versus pre-covid levels.

Fueled by the pandemic, deal-making in the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry has boomed as people turn attention to taking better care of their health and firms explore tech-driven methods of servicing them.

Walgreens shares are flat pre-market. The company is set to report earnings for its fiscal year 2022 Q1 for the quarter ending November 30 on Thursday morning.

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