Walgreens Begins Strategic Review of Boots Drugstore Business

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Walgreens Boots Alliance

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has begun a strategic review of its UK-based Boots business, as the second-largest US drugstore chain looks to reimagine itself as a healthcare provider and compete with rival CVS.,

“While the process is in an exploratory phase, we expect to move rapidly,” CEO Rosalind Brewer said Tuesday at the JPMorgan Healthcare conference.

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Brewer did not say whether Boots’ strategic review of more than 2,200 stores across the UK, including pharmacies, health and beauty stores, would lead to a sale of the business.

Private equity groups including Bain and CVC Capital Partners are described as: Potential buyerswith speculation that they may team up to make a joint bid.

The strategic review comes in the form of Brewer, the Starbucks . Joined Walgreens (Ticker: WBA) from

(SBUX

) in January of last year, is moving deeper into healthcare, having struck three deals in the past few months.

Walgreens in September. invested $970 million in Shields Health Solutionsa specialized pharmacy service provider to hospitals and health systems. A month later, it spent $5.2 billion to take a majority stake in VillageMD. In the same month it bought 55% stake in Post-Acute and Home Care Provider Management Company carecentrix,

Walgreens shares are up 13% in the past 12 months, according to data from FactSet.

Rival CVS

(ticker: CVS) on Tuesday raised its earnings guidance for the full year with testing volumes as Covid-19 vaccines and growth drivers.

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