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Mukesh Ambani Close To Having Boots In His Bag, Makes Binding Offer

If the deal goes through, it will be the largest cross-border acquisition by Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance. The consortium was in talks with global financial biggies to fund the deal, according to the report

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Mukesh Ambani. PTI

Reliance Industries Ltd. (RIL) and US-based Apollo Global Management Inc, which have jointly bid to acquire UK pharmacy chain Boots, have inched closer to acquiring the company, controlled by Walgreens Boots Alliance.  

The consortium has made a binding offer for the drugstore chain, Bloomberg reported, adding that backed by committed financing, the offer has valued the company at $6.3 billion.  

If the deal goes through, it will be the largest cross-border acquisition by Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance. The consortium was in talks with global financial biggies to fund the deal, according to the report. 

With the acquisition of Boots—which is a popular pharmacy brand in the UK, Ambani is aiming to expand RIL’s presence in the country, a market that has been his recent favourite with the previous acquisition of Hamleys in 2019, and battery technology firm Faradion in 2021.  

Moreover, the acquisition will open doors for Boots to expand its portfolio in non-UK markets such as India, South-East Asia, and the Middle East.   

The development comes at a time when a consortium of Mohsin and Zuber Issa and TDR Capital was mulling dropping out of the deal owing to price disagreements, the report added.  

The Gujarat-born Issa brothers gave a tough competition to Ambani for the Boots deal. Issa brothers are the owners of Euro Garage (EG) Group and the UK's other popular retail chain ASDA, who are aiming to diversify their portfolio across Europe with the deal.  

Apart from them, investment firms Advent, Carlyle, KKR, and retail private equity firm Sycamore Partners are also in line to win the bid. 

Notably, it was earlier reported that US-based Walgreens intended to focus on its domestic business, and had put Boots for sale in December last year.

Boots currently has 2,200 stores and over 50,000 employees. According to reports, Boots with a valuation of $7.5 billion, gets about 45 per cent of its estimated GBP 6 billion in annual revenues from providing healthcare services such as prescriptions and vaccinations to the country’s state-run National Health Service. 

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