Boots taken off the market as owner says firm is no longer for sale

Walgreen Boots Alliance (WBA), the owner of Nottingham-based high street pharmacy Boots and No 7 Beauty, has called off the sale of the business.

WBA said that it has been “encouraged by productive discussions held with a range of parties, receiving significant interest from prospective buyers”, but that since launching the sale in January, the “market instability” that had impacted financing availability has meant that any prospective buyer hadn’t been able to make an offer that met the “potential value” of Boots nor No 7.

A statement from the firm said: “Consequently, WBA has decided that it is in the best interests of shareholders to keep focusing on the further growth and profitability of the two businesses.

“The decision to retain the businesses has also been supported by the ongoing strong performance and growth of Boots and No7 Beauty Company, which have exceeded expectations despite challenging conditions.”

In April, WBA set a mid-May deadline for bids to take over the companies, valued at £6bn. Apollo Global Management were among those expected to be in the running to take over the historic Nottingham firm.

Chief executive officer, Rosalind Brewer, said: “We have now completed a thorough review of Boots and No7 Beauty Company, with the outcome reflecting rapidly evolving and challenging financial market conditions beyond our control. It is an exciting time for these businesses, which are uniquely positioned to continue to capture future opportunities presented by the growing healthcare and beauty markets. The Board and I remain confident that Boots and No7 Beauty Company hold strong fundamental value, and longer term, we will stay open to all opportunities to maximize shareholder value for these businesses and across our company.”

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