Walgreens Decides to Keep Boots Business ... for Now
After a six-month review period that saw its own stock and the broader markets falling by more than 20 percent, Walgreens announced Tuesday that it has decided to retain ownership of its U.K.-based Boots unit, as well as its No7 cosmetics brand, reports PYMNTS. A deal that had been reputed to be worth up to $7.5 billion had seen limited response, with a combined bid from India’s Reliance Industries and U.S.-based private equity firm Apollo Global Management emerging as the only known serious offer.
In the end, Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) CEO Rosalind Brewer said it was in the best interests of shareholders for the retailer to keep focused on furthering growth and profitability at the two businesses which she said had continued to show strong growth and performance despite challenging economic conditions.
Total Retail's Take: The sale of Boots would have ended an alliance formed a decade ago in 2014. Since the formation of WBA, significant investments have been made into Boots and No7 Beauty Company. Walgreens wasn't going to accept a low offer for the sale of the U.K.-based retailer. Boots and No7 Beauty Company have also showcased ongoing strong performance and growth, which exceeded expectations despite challenging conditions and supported the decision the retain the companies, WBA said in a press release.
Walgreens is still open to the prospect of a sale in the future, however. "The Board and I remain confident that Boots and No7 Beauty Company hold strong fundamental value, and longer term, we will stay open to all opportunities to maximize shareholder value for these businesses and across our company,” Brewer said. Although playing a waiting game now, Walgreens will have better sale prospects during a time of improved global economic stability.
Kristina Stidham is the digital content director at Total Retail and sister brands Women in Retail Leadership Circle and Women Leading Travel & Hospitality at NAPCO Media. She is passionate about digital media and handles video, podcast and virtual event production for all brands. You can often find her at WIRLC, TR, WLT&H or industry events with her camera and podcasting equipment—or at home on Zoom—recording interviews with thought leaders and business executives.
Kristina holds a B.A. in Media Studies and Production from the Temple University Klein College of Media and Communication in Philadelphia. Go Owls! When she's not in the office, she loves to go on long walks, sing around the house, hangout with her family and two pet guinea pigs, and travel to new places.