The Ambani, UK tycoon brothers are in battle for a chain of top drugstores


Britain’s billionaire Isa Bhai and Indian tycoon Mukesh Ambani are preparing for a final battle. Boot drugstore Chain, one of the most recognizable names on the UK High Street.
Issas is seen as the party to beat next week’s deadline for proposals, after submitting the most offers in the first round, sources said. The two are fighting Ambani, who is working on a bid with buyout firm Apollo Global Management Inc.
Bidders are now increasing the size of the shoe’s billions in pension guarantees – which they have to take – as they figure out how much they can pay for the business. They are also working around the clock to manage lending in difficult markets, which has become more difficult due to the war in Ukraine, rising inflation and rising interest rates, sources said.
There’s a lot to solve, and the suitors are getting a few extra days to bolster their bids after chain owner Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. pushed back the May 16 deadline over the weekend, sources said.
The deal would fit well with Issa’s empire-building ambitions. In recent years, they have moved on to an acquisition spree that has turned their parent company EG Group into a global gas station and convenience store colossus. They have snatched UK supermarket operator Asda Group Ltd and Leon Chain of Quick Casual Restaurants.
The rise of Ambani promises to keep the race competitive. Apollo has been known to be wary of paying more on deals, which has led to it losing auctions to British companies such as Asda and packaging firm RPC Group Plc. Connecting with India’s second richest man can give him great power.
One great question is how close the Walgreens will be to its 7 billion price tag. Bidders set the price at around 5 5 billion, although it is possible they will speed up their proposals with due diligence, people said. Bloomberg

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