Following rumours of an increased bid approach for the pharmacy and drugs wholesaler, news reports this morning suggest the the American private equity group Kohlberg Kravis Roberts has confirmed that it has indeed increased its bid for UK for Alliance Boots to £10.2bn. The £10.40 pence-a-share proposed offer is 40p more than an earlier approach, which the Boots Board bosseshad previously rejected as too low. That “friendly” move which had the backing of Italian billionaire Stephano Pessina – who controls a 15% stake in Boots – had valued the firm at £9.7bn. News of the increased offer saw Boots shares open 1.3% higher this morning. In London, Alliance Boots shares were trading at £10.40. Financial pundits are suggesting that it is highly probable that Alliance Boots is likely to recommend its shareholders accept a bid at that level – but there are questions raised as to whether other private equity bidders will also come forward.
PRimage believe that the rumour machine surrounding this bid approach has been in full swing; with various media reports fuelling the possible takevover scenarios. It appears that Alliance Boots are prepared to grant Mr Pessina and KKR a limited period, believed to be between two and three weeks and starting immediately, “to undertake confirmatory due diligence”. Other companies – Apax, Terra Firma and Blackstone – are also believed to be considering Boots as a likely takeover prospect. And Judy Viitanen has read reports that suggest that Alliance Boots will set up a data room, where prospective bidders can examine confidential company information, to accommodate other interested parties. Another element to this saga is that Mr Pessina could sell his entire 15 per cent holding in the group if a rival gains control of the business. Watch this space!