UK health and beauty chain Alliance Boots said today that it would open its books to deputy chairman Stefano Pessina and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, after the pair came back with an improved £10.40 per share bid.
The board has now granted KKR “a limited period to undertake confirmatory due diligence”.
The buyout firm had an indicative £10-per-share offer rejected by the Boots board on March 12, but has waited more than two weeks to increase its bid.
Other rival firms have since been linked with a possible offer for Boots, including UK-based Terra Firma and Apax Partners. Yesterday the Daily Telegraph newspaper reported that The Blackstone Group was also mulling a bid.
Reporting its results earlier this week, Boots was in bullish mood, revealing a small increase in like-for-like sales and a £65 million re-branding of the pharmacies taken on as part of last year’s merger with Alliance Unichem.