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01/11/2022

Report: Walgreens exploring strategic options for UK-based Boots division

Marianne Wilson
Editor-in-Chief
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Walgreens Boots Alliance has begun a strategic review of its Boots.

Walgreens Boots Alliance confirmed that the company is reviewing its U.K. business.

Speaking during a virtual presentation at the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference, Walgreens CEO Rosalind Brewer said that the company has begun a strategic review of its Boots business as it considers how to proceed with the U.K. chain, reported CNBC.

“While the process is at an exploratory stage, we do expect to move quickly,” she said, according to the report.

In early December, the Financial Times reported that Walgreens was putting advisors in place, including Goldman Sachs, to explore options for Boots. Walgreens acquired the U.K.-based pharmacy chain in a two-step process that began in 2012, with a 45% equity ownership in Alliance Boots. It completed the process in 2014, acquiring the remainder of the company to form Walgreens Boots Alliance. According to its website, Boots has more than 2,200 stores. It also has hundreds of optical practices and hearing care locations

Brewer, who took the reins of the company in March, has been focused on sharpening Walgreens’ focus on U.S. health care. In October, the company announced a new “consumer-centric” health care strategy to drive long-term profitable growth. The plan features the launch of Walgreens Health, a new business segment enabled by the company’s investments in VillageMD and CareCentrix. Walgreens described the segment as a “technology-enabled care model powered by a nationally scaled, locally delivered healthcare platform.”

[Read More: Walgreens to invest $5.2 billion in VillageMD, becoming majority owner]