US-based healthcare, pharmacy and retail company Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) has withdrawn plans to divest its British high street pharmacy chain Boots.
WBA decided to retain its ownership of the Boots and No7 Beauty Company businesses in response to ‘unexpected and dramatic’ change in global financial markets.
The company said that interested parties are unable to make offers that reflect the value of the businesses due to market instability.
In addition, strong performance and growth from these businesses have also influenced WBA’s decision.
The announcement marks the end of a strategic review that the company began in January this year.
WBA CEO Rosalind Brewer 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 maximise shareholder value for these businesses and across our company.”
Boots is one of the UK’s largest health and beauty retailers, with a network of 2,200 stores under various brands, including No7 Beauty Company.
The company employs around 51,000 people in total.
It has received interest from a number of potential buyers, including a consortium between Reliance Industries and Apollo Global Management, which offered more than £5bn for the pharmacy chain.
Earlier this year, Boots set a deadline of 24 February to receive indicative bids from potential investors.
The brand was to be sold as part of an auction process led by investment banking and financial services firm Goldman Sachs.