Apollo, Reliance Industries consortium said to make binding bid for Boots

A consortium of Inc. and Ltd. has made a binding offer for Walgreens Alliance Inc.’s international drugstore arm, people with knowledge of the matter said.

The bid for the business is fully backed by committed financing, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private.

Representatives for the consortium and Walgreens declined to comment.

The drugstore chain is currently owned by American retail giant Walgreens Alliance and has a presence in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Italy, Norway, the Netherlands, Thailand, and Indonesia.

Walsgreen had put up the business for sale in December last year and has been seeking a valuation of about 7 billion pounds ($8.8 billion) for Boots, though bidders had pegged its worth around 5 billion pounds.

Boots has a sprawling network of more than 2,200 stores across the UK, many of which need sprucing up. The high street has been hit by slowing demand in recent years, and they’ll need to refocus Boots’ business to adapt to these changing consumer habits.

There’s also the cost of living crisis to contend with. UK retailers have warned of “clouds on the horizon” after recording a sharp slowdown in sales as higher prices cut into spending power.

(With inputs from Bloomberg)

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