Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA), the parent company of the UK beauty and health chain Boots, is reportedly considering the sale of the business, five years after gaining full control. To explore its options, the company has enlisted the help of advisers from Goldman Sachs. While a sale of the Boots chain is being considered, there is also talk of a separate stock exchange listing for the firm.

Private equity groups are expected to express interest in acquiring Boots, as they have shown a strong desire for UK assets over the past year. Earlier this year, major supermarkets Asda and Morrisons were sold to retail equity, but a potential sale of Boots could surpass those deals in terms of size. Analysts estimate that Boots could be worth more than £10 billion, taking into account its 2,200 stores, substantial online presence, and UK license for Mothercare. With approximately 55,000 employees, Boots is a significant player in the industry.

Boots was previously listed on the UK stock exchange until 2007, when it was taken private by Stefano Pessina and private equity group KKR. It was later acquired by US-based Walgreens, with Pessina leading the expanded group. Under the current CEO Roz Brewer, WBA is said to be shifting its focus to North America and healthcare.

Boots has faced criticism in recent years regarding its management, leading to underinvestment in some stores. However, the company has been experiencing a recent recovery and remains one of the leading names in the UK beauty retail sector. One of Boots’ strengths is its massive loyalty scheme, with 14 million members, which helps retain customers. Additionally, it holds a strong position in UK pharmacy services. Since Sebastian James took over as Boots MD in 2018, the company has been streamlining its operations, closing approximately 200 stores and investing in new premium beauty halls.

It should be noted that the potential sale of Boots may not materialize, as sources have indicated. In a statement to Sky News, Walgreens Boots Alliance emphasized the significance of Boots to the group and stated that they do not comment on market speculation. They further mentioned their satisfaction with the performance of Boots and the International division as a whole during the last WBA investor conference.

Useful sources:
– For more information on Walgreens Boots Alliance, you can visit their official website [link](http://www.walgreensbootsalliance.com/).
– To learn more about Boots and its products and services, you can visit their website [link](https://www.boots.com/).