ASDA owners reportedly considering Boots takeover

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ASDA owners reportedly considering Boots takeover

Asda’s owners are reportedly considering making a bid for Boots UK, it emerged over the weekend.

The Sunday Times reported yesterday that Blackburn-based brothers Mohsin and Zuber Issa, who bought the supermarket chain 15 months ago as part of a series of high profile acquisitions, are among the potential bidders for the UK’s largest multiple.

The supermarket chain already runs around 250 stores in the UK. It would be backed in any bid by US private equity firm TDR Capital.

The Competition and Markets Authority may need to investigate any takeover of Boots by a supermarket chain, a “senior supermarket source” told the Mail on Sunday yesterday.

Asda declined to comment when approached by Pharmacy Network News.

The report follows the news that Bain Capital and CVC Capital are making a joint bid to take over Boots. Other rumoured potential bidders include Advent, KKR, Clayton Dubilier & Rice and Apollo.

The multiple could sell for as much as £10bn, it has been reported, though a price tag between £6-7bn is considered more likely.

If no bidders meet the reserve price when an auction takes place – possibly as early as spring this year – then parent company Walgreens Boot Alliance may consider a public listing.

WBA said last week when approached about the CVC/Bain bid rumour: “We can confirm that Walgreens Boots Alliance … has announced a strategic review, primarily focused on our successful Boots business.

“This strategic review is at an exploratory stage and further announcements will be made in due course.”

WBA said late last year that it wished to take “a more pointed focus on North America and on healthcare,” prompting speculation that it could put Boots up for sale having already divested its European wholesaler arm Alliance Healthcare.

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