Private equity firms line up multibillion-pound swoop for Boots

Two of the world’s biggest private equity firms have come together to launch multibillion-pound takeover of Nottingham-headquartered chemist Boots.

Sky News says that Bain Capital and CVC Capital Partners are formulating a joint bid which would see the retailer, which has 2,00 stores and employs over 50,000 people, change hands. The pair are being advised by bankers at Lazards.

One of the CVC managing partners is Dominic Murphy, a prime mover in the £11bn takeover by KKR, who he then worked for, of Alliance Boots in 2007. He is also a director of Wallgreens Boots Alliance, Boots’ US parent company.

Sky says Bain and CVC, if successful, would invest heavily in Boots’ digital, beauty and healthcare services.

In early December, it was revealed that Wallgreen Boots Alliance (WBA) had lined up bank Goldman Sachs to advise on a deal which could see new owners for the UK’s biggest chemist.

Boots was taken private in 2006 when Stefano Pessina put together a deal which saw it merge with Alliance Unichem and private equity firm buying the combined group in an £11m deal the following year.

Walgreens snapped up a 45% share of Alliance Boots in 2012, and took charge of the remainder of the business two years later.

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