Apollo said to be leading race to buy Boots
Suitors are lining up to take over UK health & beauty retail giant Boots. According to the latest report, New York-based investment giant Apollo Global Management is now in the lead position with a £6bn takeover bid.
The report from Sky News follows weekend reports of a potential £7 billion sale for the Walgreens-owned business by both Apollo and US peer Sycamore Partners. They are understood to be competing against TDR Capital and the billionaire Issa brothers, owners of the Asda UK supermarket chain.
The sale of Boots was thrown into doubt in recent weeks after a consortium of Bain Capital and CVC Capital declined to submit a first-round bid.
However, city sources told The Sunday Times they are sceptical that Sycamore, which is also circling fashion chain Ted Baker, will make a firm offer for Boots.
That leaves Apollo Global as a strong contender with the investment giant understood to be talks with banks including Bank of America and Credit Suisse to provide debt funding, Sky News reports. Apollo has so far declined to comment,
Although Apollo is likely to be able to secure the required financing for a Boots bid, debt markets have become increasingly difficult since Russia's invasion of Ukraine last month, analysts noted.
A new round of bids for Boots, which trades from more than 2,000 stores and employs over 50,000 people, is expected early next month.
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