Issa backed consortium may drop out of Boots bidding

Issa backed consortium may drop out of Boots bidding
A consortium backed by the billionaire Issa brothers is said to be considering dropping out of the bidding for Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc.’s international arm due to disagreements over price.

The EG Group owners, who were bidding together with TDR Capital, are now thinking about walking away following a request by Walgreens to increase their offer for the Boots drugstore chain.

The investor group could still re-enter the race if it can reach a compromise on price with Walgreens, an insider said.

The US company has been seeking a valuation of about £7bn ($8.8bn) for Boots, though bidders had set its worth around £5bn, Bloomberg News has reported.

The Issa-TDR group had been one of the two main suitors remaining in the contest. They were bidding for Boots through Asda Group Ltd., the British grocery chain they jointly own.

A consortium of Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries Ltd. and Apollo Global Management Inc. is the other serious party left in the race.

That group was still working to line up financing in recent days and hadn’t yet submitted a second-round offer, Bloomberg News reported this week.

Sycamore Partners are also said to have expressed interest in Boots earlier in the race.