Walgreens abandons plan to sell UK-based Boots business

People walk by a Walgreens, owned by the Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc., in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., November 26, 2021. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

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June 28 (Reuters) – Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA.O) 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 U.S. 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.

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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 U.S. drug wholesaler AmerisourceBergen (ABC.N) last year. (https://reut.rs/3bDWF8w)

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.

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Reporting by Mrinalika Roy in Bengaluru;
Editing by Vinay Dwivedi

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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