Pure Beauty

Walgreens scraps Boots IPO plan as sales talks continue

By Amanda Pauley | Published: 10-Jun-2024

Parent company Walgreens Boots Alliance has allegedly postponed a planned IPO listing for Boots due to ongoing talks with potential buyers for the UK chain

Boots’ parent company Walgreens Boots Alliance has allegedly halted plans for a potential initial public offering (IPO) of the UK health and beauty chain.

The US company is reportedly exploring other options for Boots amid ongoing sales talks, dashing hopes for an IPO listing on the London Stock Exchange, according to Bloomberg

Walgreens Boots Alliance has allegedly engaged in informal talks with potential buyers for the UK beauty chain over the past few weeks, including private equity firms.

​​Rumours first started circulating last month that the company was attempting another potential sale, with hopes to ink an estimated deal of £7bn for the British business.

However, no final decision on the future ownership of Boots has been made, sources knowledgeable on the matter told Bloomberg.

This would be the second time Walgreen Boots Alliance has attempted to sell Boots, after initially floating a sale for the UK retailer in 2022.

The sale was abandoned after the US pharmacy company failed to find a suitable buyer, citing “unexpected and dramatic” changes in market conditions as key reasons.

Boots sold its pension scheme to investment firm Legal & General last year in a move thought to make the chain easier to sell.

The retailer also announced in June 2023 it would close 300 stores over the course of a year as part of a transformation plan to “rejuvenate” the business.

Walgreens Boots Alliance’s Executive Chair has also hit the headlines after allegedly having US$2.2bn wiped from his fortune after the market value of his company holdings plummeted. 

Cosmetics Business has contacted Boots for comment. 

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