Boots, a US-based private equity firm is being sought by US investors who are now circling Boots.

  • Bain Capital may be interested in Bain Capital’s 173 year-old pharmacy
  • Bain will be the leading contender in a forthcoming auction for Boots
  • Boots is expected to achieve a price tag of between £6billion and £7billion

Boots could be in the middle of a bidding frenzy as many private equity sharks look to purchase the company.

Bain Capital is believed to be targeting the 173-year old pharmacy chain. This US private equity firm was wounded last month when it attempted to takeover mutual insurance LV.

Bain, however, is not resting on its laurels and continues its campaign against the UK’s business community.

The Times reports that Bain submitted a bid to buy Boots in 2013. This started off the search for a potential buyer. 

If it is sold, the company is expected to achieve a price tag of between £6billion and £7billion.

Boots is set to become the target of a bidding war later this year as several private equity sharks circle the firm

Boots could be in the middle of a bidding frenzy as many private equity sharks circle this firm.

Others that are interested in the deal include a swathe private equity giants like CVC, Carlyle and KKR as well as Blackstone, Advent, Blackstone, and Blackstone.

Also rumoured to be mulling a bid is Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, the New York-based firm that took over supermarket giant Morrisons in October in a £7billion deal spearheaded by former Tesco chief executive Sir Terry Leahy.

But there could be interest closer to home, with Sainsbury’s and Tesco considered to be potential buyers due to sharing many customers with Boots. 

This is because the potential of the chain as a healthcare provider has been a major reason for its interest. The company allowed patients to have jabs at their pharmacies, and was instrumental in the rollout of the Covid vaccine.

Speculation over a possible sale was sparked last month after reports that Boots’ current owner, US giant Walgreens Boots Alliance, had hired bankers Goldman Sachs to advise it on possible options for the business. 

Rumours abound that the company might list on the stock markets, aside from the sale.

Boots can be traced back to an herbal remedy shop that was established in Nottingham by Quaker John Boot, 1849.

It has since grown to be one of Britain’s largest pharmacies with more than 2200 stores and over 550 opticians, employing approximately 51,000 people.

The 173-year-old pharmacy chain is thought to be in the crosshairs of Bain Capital

Bain Capital is believed to have the 173-year old pharmacy chain in its sights

It is one of Britain’s biggest employers in the private sector. Alliance Boots was formed in 2006 when Boots joined forces with Alliance Unichem, an European pharmaceutical firm. 

The private equity group KKR defeated a Terra Firma Capital bid to take over the business in 2007.

The largest US chemist chain Walgreens purchased a share of the company five years later. This was followed by a merger to form Walgreens Boots Alliance in 2014.

The next stage in a continuing pandemic of plundering British companies, including many that are thought to be cheap, would see Boots sold to Bain or to another private equity shark.

Since the pandemic hit in 2020, 1,206 firms worth £92billion have been snapped up by the buyout barons.

Furthermore, around 773 deals were done last year alone, worth a total of £63billion, up from 461 in 2019.

Private equity firms tend to be interested only in maximising their profits during the tenure of the businesses. They often do this by cutting jobs and putting the firms under debt.

There has been a backlash from MPs as well as bosses and investors over the buying spree, which they claim is being perpetrated by overseas predators who are trying to take Britain’s top companies.