Alliance Boots, the country’s biggest pharmacy chain, has agreed to a 10.6 billion pound offer from a private equity firm and billionaire Stefano Pessina after they raised their bid by 5 percent. The Group now looks set to be the first FTSE 100 firm to fall into private equity hands after agreeing the £10.90p-a-share offer. Mr Pessina and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) tabled the increased bid as it emerged that fellow suitors the Wellcome Trust and private equity firm Terra Firma had put forward an indicative offer of £10.85p a share, equivalent to £10.5 billion. Sir Nigel Rudd, chairman of Alliance Boots, said he was “delighted that the board has been able to achieve such a good price for shareholders”. He added: “The formation last year of Alliance Boots created a hugely valuable business and this offer reflects that.”
With pharmacy client interests, Judy Viitanen has been avidly following these takeover tussles and developments over the recent weeks, during which KKR and Pessina have been trying to head off potential counterbids. German drugs wholesaler Celesio AG , which also owns the Lloyds pharmacy chain, declined to comment on newspaper reports it is was also considering a bid. KKR and Pessina said their bid included any final dividend that Alliance Boots pays for the year ended March 21.
A lot can change in the course of a day: this morning the Alliance Boots Board approved the KKR bid to shareholders; but this afternoon PRimage has heard that there is now a head to head battle for Boots, and the latest update is that Terra Firma private equity consortium has now countered with an increased bid, putting forward proposals for a 1115p-a-share offer
Watch this space ….!