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£5bn takeover bid for Boots launched by one of India’s richest men and US private equity firm

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Assurances are being sought by a Nottinghamshire MP as one of India’s richest men has joined forces with a US private equity firm to launch a £5 billion takeover attempt for Beeston-based Boots.

Roughly 8,500 people work for Boots in Nottinghamshire and its headquarters is based in Thane Road, Beeston. Despite 300 job roles being cut at the height of the pandemic it remains one of the county’s largest private employers and the largest company based in Nottinghamshire.

There’s been much recent speculation over the potential sale of the retail giant. Just a few days ago it was reported the owners of Asda could be on the brink of withdrawing their bid for Boots over a disagreement on price. The Issa brothers, who had teamed up with private equity firm TDR Capital to buy Boots, were reportedly reconsidering their bid after Walgreen – the owner of the pharmacy chain – asked for more money.

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Fresh reports as of Friday, June 10 suggest one of India’s richest men has now joined forces with a US private equity firm to launch a £5 billion takeover attempt for the retailer. In April, billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s firm Reliance Industries started working with Apollo Global Management on a potential move.

As such it has prompted an MP in the county to write to the Government to seek assurances over the many thousands of jobs. Broxtowe’s Conservative MP, Darren Henry, told Nottinghamshire Live: “My absolute priority is that of the jobs and pensions of Boots employees. Boots was established in Nottinghamshire in 1849 and many of my constituents have worked and been a part of its history since.

“I have today written to the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, seeking assurances that the livelihoods of Boots staff are also at the forefront of their efforts. I will follow this deal closely and if any of my constituents have and concerns then they are welcome to contact my office.”

According to the Press Association, it is understood that the two partnering companies have placed a takeover approach for Boots. Reliance is hoping to expand its reach outside Asia and into the West.

Walgreen Boots Alliance had already announced a review of the UK business, which could lead to a sale, and the company was reportedly seeking to gain as much as £6 billion for Boots, which owns more than 2,200 stores across the UK. Boots has revealed a jump in sales for the three months to February in its latest financial results, amid a recovery in high street footfall.

Total UK sales grew by 15.2% over the quarter to February 28, compared with the same period last year. Boors has been contacted for comment on the move.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated as more news comes in.

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