Walgreens Halts Boots Sale, Citing Market Uncertainty

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Walgreens Halts Boots Sale, Citing Market Uncertainty

By Scott Kanowsky 

Investing.com -- U.S.-listed shares in Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc (NASDAQ: WBA ) edged slightly higher in early U.S. trading on Tuesday, after the drug store group announced that it would not be selling its Boots division.

In a statement, the group said it held "productive discussions" with suitors for the U.K. pharmacy chain and its cosmetics business No7 Beauty Company, but decided to ditch the sales due to uncertainty in global markets.

"As a result of market instability severely impacting financing availability, no third party has been able to make an offer that adequately reflects the high potential value of Boots and No7 Beauty Company," Walgreens said. "Consequently, WBA has decided that it is in the best interests of shareholders to keep focusing on the further growth and profitability of the two businesses."

Walgreens chief executive Rosalind Brewer said both Boots and No7 Beauty still hold "strong fundamental value," adding that the group will remain open to opportunities to "maximize shareholder value" for the companies.

Media reports had suggested that the only bid offered for Boots came from a consortium of private equity firm Apollo Management and Reliance Industries, a conglomerate owned by Indian industrialist and billionaire Mukesh Ambani. According to the Financial Times, the proposal had valued Boots at between £5B - £6B, and allowed Walgreens to maintain a minority stake.

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