Ambani’s Reliance and Apollo make joint £5bn bid for Boots

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One of India’s richest men has joined forces with a US private equity firm to launch a £5 billion takeover attempt for pharmacy chain Boots.

In April, billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s firm Reliance Industries started working with Apollo Global Management on a potential move for the historic UK retailer.

It is now understood that the two partnering companies have placed a takeover approach for Boots.

The possible buyout is part of plans by Reliance to expand rapidly outside of Asia, according to Bloomberg, which first reported the bid.

The process comes after Boots’ current owner, Walgreen Boots Alliance, announced a review of the UK business which could lead to a sale.

Initial reports had suggested that WBA could seek to gain as much as £6 billion for Boots, which owns more than 2,200 stores across the UK.

It is reported that the US retail giant is likely to keep a minority stake in boots as part of a deal.

Apollo is attempting to buy a major UK retailer within two years of failed efforts to buy supermarket chains Morrisons and Asda during their separate sales processes.

Boots has revealed a jump in sales for the three months to February in its latest financial results, amid a recovery in high street footfall.

Total UK sales grew by 15.2% over the quarter to February 28, compared with the same period last year.

Boots declined to comment. Reliance and Apollo have also been contacted for comment.

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