Boots’ parent company Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) has announced its decision not to sell its UK pharmacy and beauty chain, following months of speculation over who will take on the multiple.  

In a statement published today (28 June), the pharmaceutical company said that it had received ‘significant interest’ from prospective buyers for both Boots and No7 Beauty Company.  

But none of the offers properly reflected the value and potential of the UK pharmacy chain, it said. 

WBA said it would now keep Boots and the No7 beauty brand and would focus on the ‘further growth and profitability of the two businesses’.  

Previously, WBA told The Pharmacist that while it would not comment on speculation, however, it was ‘accurate’ that WBA had a ‘renewed set of priorities and strategic direction’, including a more ‘pointed focus on North America’.  

In November, Boots UK also announced it would be stopping pharmacy provision in 22 locations ‘in the coming months’ due to a ‘need to adapt to a changing market environment’. 

WBA said it had decided to move away from plans to sell Boots after an ‘unexpected and dramatic change’ in the financial markets. 

‘As a result of market instability severely impacting financing availability, no third party has been able to make an offer that adequately reflects the high potential value of Boots and No7 Beauty Company,’ it said. 

‘The decision to retain the businesses has also been supported by the ongoing strong performance and growth of Boots and No7 Beauty Company, which have exceeded expectations despite challenging conditions,’ it also explained.  

Rosalind Brewer, chief executive officer of WBA, said: ‘We have now completed a thorough review of Boots and No7 Beauty Company, with the outcome reflecting rapidly evolving and challenging financial market conditions beyond our control.  

‘It is an exciting time for these businesses, which are uniquely positioned to continue to capture future opportunities presented by the growing healthcare and beauty markets.  

‘The Board and I remain confident that Boots and No7 Beauty Company hold strong fundamental value, and longer term, we will stay open to all opportunities to maximize shareholder value for these businesses and across our company,’ she added.