Asia’s richest man joins bidding war for Boots: Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries targets the High Street chemist
New bidder? Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries is interested in Boots
Asia’s richest man has crashed the Boots bidding war.
Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries is interested in the High Street chemist and could table a bid or team up with another buyer to take a stake in the business. Boots’s American owner Walgreens put the chemist up for sale in January as part of a strategic review to focus more on US healthcare.
Three of the world’s biggest private equity houses, Apollo Global Management, TDR Capital and Sycamore Capital Partners are among those to have bid so far as the process enters its final stages.
But a Bloomberg report threw a surprise bidder into the ring in the Indian tycoon, suggesting Ambani was in the early stages of exploring a bid.
The 64-year-old is chairman, managing director and biggest shareholder of Reliance, a conglomerate specialising in energy production with a hand in retail and telecoms.
He is the eldest son of Reliance founder Dhirubhai Ambani and has a string of interests outside the business including Football Sports Development, which owns the Indian Super League, the country’s top tier football league.
It is thought by taking a stake in Boots, Ambani could expand Reliance’s retail footprint and even expand the chemist’s reach to India.
A source close to the deal told the Daily Mail: ‘Reliance has been on the scene for a few weeks.
It is unclear whether they will try to buy the whole thing or team up with one of the others to take a stake, but they are in the mix.’