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WBA reportedly planning second attempt to sell off Boots

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WBA reportedly planning second attempt to sell off Boots

Boots parent company Walgreens Boots Alliance is reportedly determined to sell off or float the UK multiple by the end of the year – less than a year after it called off a previous sale attempt.

Financial website This is Money reported on Saturday March 25 that the WBA executive team led by CEO Rosalind Brewer and executive chairman Stefano Pessina is under “huge pressure” from investors and board members to divest its European operations – which they view as a “distraction” – and focus on the US business. 

While investors wish to see a sale as soon as possible, Mr Pessina is “less eager to rush,” the website reported. He oversaw the merger between Walgreens and Alliance Boots, going on to act as WBA chief from 2015 to 2020.

In January 2022 WBA announced plans to sell Boots but called off the process in the summer after no bids came close to meeting the £7bn price it reportedly was seeking.

No details have yet emerged regarding WBA’s target price for the business in any second sale attempt. A stock market flotation is also reportedly being considered.

As of August 31, Boots employed over 53,000 staff members and had a footprint of 2,232 stores, of which more than 2,100 had a pharmacy. It posted losses of £111m in its most recent annual report, citing the impact of Government funding cuts and a drop in demand for services during the pandemic.

The company has been approached for comment.

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