(Reuters) – India’s Reliance Industries is exploring a bid for drug retailer Walgreens Boots Alliance’s UK-based Boots business, Bloomberg News reported on Wednesday, citing people familiar with the matter.
Boots is being sold as part of an auction process led by Goldman Sachs and can be valued at up to 8 billion pounds ($10.49 billion), Reuters reported in February, citing sources.
The Boots business spans across 2,200 stores in the UK, including pharmacies, health and beauty stores, according to the chain’s website.
Deliberations were ongoing and there was no certainty Reliance would actually bid for Boots, the Bloomberg report quoted people who asked not to be identified as the information was confidential.
While a spokesperson for Boots declined to comment on the news, Reliance was not available for response late at night in India.
U.S.-based Walgreens said in January it was conducting a strategic review of the Boots business as the second largest U.S. pharmacy chain renews its focus on domestic healthcare.
Other suitors for Boots include TDR Capital, which owns supermarket chain Asda, a consortium of CVC Capital Partners and Bain Capital as well as U.S. investment firm Apollo.
($1 = 0.7628 pounds)
(Reporting by Mrinalika Roy and Leroy Leo in Bengaluru; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi)