Walgreens seeking to offload Boots pension scheme for £1bn

Walgreens, the American owner of pharmacy chain Boots, is set to pay £1bn to hand over responsibility of the Boots pension scheme, according to The Sunday Times.

Reports stated that the deal was in preparation of the US firm relaunching a sale process for the business.

Private equity firms had previously been put off of purchasing Boots due to the guarantee Walgreens had given to the Boots pension scheme.

The potential pension sale is reportedly aiming to remove this obstacle and kickstart the process of selling the UK pharmaceutical chain.

According to a previous report in The Times, Walgreens was closing in on a deal to transfer responsibility for the £4.5bn defined benefit scheme to Legal & General and had been negotiating with the insurer.

Boots has a long-standing relationship with Legal & General, and completed a £50m full scheme buy-in with the insurer for the Boots Supplementary Pension Plan last year.

Legal & General had provided the supplementary scheme with investment management services for more than 20 years.

Earlier this year, Walgreens paused efforts to sell Boots due to evolving market conditions, and offers were believed to be lower than the US firm had valued the business.

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