Asda has taken one step closer to a buyout deal of high street chain Boots after a major consortium abandoned its takeover plans.
Bain Capital and CVC Capital Partners said they would not submit a bid for the health and beauty chain, Sky News reported.
Described as a “surprise decision”, sources said that price expectations of Boots’ owner – Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) – largely caused the termination.
Along with Asda, Apollo Global Management and Sycamore Capital are said to be interested in a takeover.
Offers of more than £6bn, Sky News said, were submitted last week.
Boots currently operates more than 2,000 beauty outlets and employs 55,000 members of staff.
Goldman Sachs is running the sale.