The consortium of Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance Industries and US buyout firm Apollo Global Management Inc. has moved closer to acquiring Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc’s international chemist and drugstore units.
Bloomberg reported that the consortium has made a binding offer for Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc.’s international drugstore arm citing people close to the development.
According to the report, the offer is backed by committed financing. Citing a source, the report said that the offer has valued the business at £5 billion ($6.3 billion). The consortium was in talks with global financial giants for funding. If completed, the deal will be Reliance’s largest cross-border acquisition.
The chances for the Reliance-Apollo consortium brightened when a competing consortium backed by billionaire Issa brothers Mohsin and Zuber Issa, who run a supermarket group Asda, and TDR Capital baulked at a request by Walgreens to increase their offer for the Boots drugstore chain, one of Britain’s best known retailers, and were planning to walk away from the competitive race.
Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance has been on an acquisition spree as it is expanding its presence in multiple sectors in its bid to diversify from its traditional oil-to-chemicals business.
Walgreens has been seeking a valuation of about £7 billion for Boots, people with knowledge of the matter have said. The business runs a network of more than 2,200 stores across the UK, as well as private-label brands like No7 Beauty Co. and operations in a smattering of other countries.
Reliance, controlled by billionaire Mukesh Ambani, may be looking to tap its expertise in emerging markets to wring further growth out of the British high street staple.
A winning bidder could be picked as soon as the coming weeks, the people said. Walgreens plans to keep a stake in the business after any deal, according to the people.
(With Bloomberg inputs)