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Retail

Walgreens Abandons Plan To Sell Boots Business

Walgreens Boots Alliance on Tuesday scrapped its plan to sell its UK high street pharmacy chain, Boots, saying no third party was able to make an adequate offer due to the turmoil in the global financial markets.

The company put its Boots business up for sale after announcing a strategic review in January as the second-largest US pharmacy chain renewed its focus on the domestic healthcare.

The decision to retain Boots and No7 Beauty Company has also been supported by their ongoing strong performance, Walgreens said.

The 173-year-old Boots business includes 2,200 stores in the United Kingdom, including pharmacies, health and beauty stores.

The company sold its distribution business for $6.5 billion to US drug wholesaler AmerisourceBergen ABC.N last year.

Save Costs And Revive Profit Growth

Walgreens had cut jobs, suspended share repurchases and closed some of its UK-based Boots stores to save costs and revive profit growth that took a major hit as the COVID-19 crisis hammered sales at its stores and pharmacies in 2020.

Walgreen shares fell nearly 3% to $41 before the bell.


In March of this year, the company reported higher-than-expected quarterly profit and sales, boosted by a rush for COVID-19 vaccinations and testing during a recent Omicron-led surge in COVID-19 cases.

In April of this year, Bloomberg News reported that India's Reliance Industries was exploring a bid for drug retailer Walgreens Boots Alliance's UK-based Boots business.

News by Reuters, edited by ESM – your source for the latest retail news. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.

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