Boots takeover: Mukesh Ambani poised to launch bid for Nottingham-based retailer

Mukesh Ambani, a billionaire who made his fortune in retail, has joined forces with a US private equity firm to try and bid for the Nottingham-based chain. Credit: PA Images

Boots could be taken over by one of the richest men in India, it's been revealed.

Mukesh Ambani, a billionaire who made his fortune in retail, has joined forces with a US private equity firm to launch a bid for the UK's largest pharmacist and beauty retailer.

It was thought that the owners of Asda were going to try to take over Boots, but it's been reported they are considering withdrawing their offer due to a disagreement with the owners.

The company is one of Nottingham's biggest private employers, with around 8,500 people working in its offices and stores in the county.

Boots has at least 2,263 stores across the UK Credit: PA Images

There has been speculation as to who would buy the Nottingham-based chain since it was suggested for sale back in December.

A deadline of mid-May was set for final bids.

If Mr Ambani launches a successful bid for Boots, it's thought the brand could expand further into the Middle East and Asia.

Uday Dholakia thinks that it could help Boots become a major global brand

Speaking to ITV News Central, business consultant Uday Dholakia said: "I remain absolutely confident that if Reliance buys Boots we would have the emergence of a brand again, and it would be a world leading brand.

"I can see that in Africa, in the Indian sub-continent, in Malaysia, Singapore."

The US firm he's partnered with attempted to take over supermarket chain Morrisons last year, however this bid was unsuccessful.

Broxtowe's Conservative MP, Darren Henry, said: "My absolute priority is that of the jobs and pensions of Boots employees.

"Boots was established in Nottinghamshire in 1849 and many of my constituents have worked and been a part of its history since.

"I have today written to the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, seeking assurances that the livelihoods of Boots staff are also at the forefront of their efforts.

"I will follow this deal closely and if any of my constituents have and concerns then they are welcome to contact my office."

Boots Head office in Nottingham. Credit: PA

Where is Boots based?

The company is headquartered in Beeston in Nottinghamshire, and employs thousands of people in the East Midlands and around the UK.

Who owns Boots?

Boots is owned by a holding company based in the UK, US and Switzerland.

The holding company - Walgreens Boots Alliance - also owns American pharmaceutical chain Walgreens, which is the second largest in the country. The company is headquartered in Illinois in the US.

How old is Boots?

It has its origins in 1849, after ten-year-old Jesse Boot stepped in to help run his mother's herbal shop in Nottingham after the death of his father.

It's since expanded to become one of the most recognisable chains in the UK, with at least 2,263 shops nationwide.

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know.