Analysts question chances of Boots sales as it gets harder to borrow for deals
It’s been so long on the market, but Boots may now be in danger of missing its sell-by date. With inflation and interest rates rising on both sides of the Atlantic, a deal to buy the Walgreens Boots Alliance-owned UK health & beauty retailer is reportedly at risk of collapsing, with analysts citing now-bloated debt markets and buyers fearing a consumer downturn.
US private equity giant Apollo and Indian conglomerate Reliance Industries recently made a joint bid some £1.5 billion below the £7 billion asking price, although Walgreens maintaining a stake in the business was part of the offer.
There are now also doubts over whether a rival bid from the Asda-owning Issa brothers and private equity firm TDR will be forthcoming.
“It’s looking tough. The debt markets are closed,” The Sunday Times reported a source close to the brothers as saying.
Analysts also pointed to Apollo’s financing being raised from investment banks at higher rates of interest than last year and said financing in the retail industry has been particularly tough, given the effects of the cost-of-living crisis of consumer spending.
No recent update shave been forthcoming but it’s believed WBA could update the market on the sale process with its Q3 results on 30 June.
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