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Boots Suitors Get More Time to Bid for £7 Billion Pharmacy Chain

Signage outside a Walgreens location in Louisville, Kentucky, U.S., on Thursday, March 24, 2022. Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. is scheduled to release earnings figures on March 31. Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg

Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. is giving bidders more time to lodge final offers for its international drugstore arm, people with knowledge of the matter said. 

The company plans to allow suitors a few extra days to firm up their bids, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. Walgreens had initially requested binding offers by May 16 for the business, which includes the Boots chain in the UK, but is now expected to receive proposals later in the week, the people said.The battle for Boots, one of the most well-known names on the British high street, is set to be a litmus test for dealmaking in the country as credit markets become more fragile. Walgreens has been seeking 7 billion pounds ($8.5 billion) for the business, which includes more than 2,200 UK stores as well as operations in a smattering of other countries and private-label brands like No7 Beauty Co.

Britain’s billionaire Issa brothers have teamed up with TDR Capital in the bidding, while Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries Ltd. has partnered with Apollo Global Management Inc., people with knowledge of the matter have said. The sale has also attracted interest from retail-focused private equity firm Sycamore Partners, Bloomberg News has reported.

A representative for Walgreens declined to comment.

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