India’s richest man goes head to head with forecourt billionaires the Issa brothers in £5bn bid for Boots: Mukesh Ambani who owns Hamleys and Stoke Park joins forces with US private equity giant Apollo to buy chemist
- Boots could be sold as part of a review by owner Walgreen Boots Alliance
- The Indian business magnate and the equity firm have tabled offer of £5billion
- The Issa brothers and TDR Capital, who own Asda, were also reportedly keen
High street chemist Boots has received a £5billion offer by India’s richest man swooping in from under the noses of Asda’s siblings owners.
Mukesh Ambani – who is worth £70billion – has teamed up with US private equity giant Apollo to table the bid for the shops.
Mr Ambani’s Reliance Industries is said to lodged a binding offer for the popular retail chain.
The Issa brothers – who own Asda – and TDR capital were believed to have been top in the running previously but are said to have cooled their interest.
Indian businessman Mukesh Ambani with wife Nita Ambani pose during the wedding reception of their daughter Isha Amban
Brothers Zuber Issa and Mohsin Issa, the siblings who own the Asda chain of supermarkets
It comes after Boots’ current owner, Walgreen Boots Alliance, announced a review of the UK business which could lead to a sale.
Apollo, which failed in an attempt to buy supermarket chain Morrisons last year, is working with Mr Ambani’s Reliance Industries on a deal which would see Boots expand into Asia if a takeover was completed.
Both Reliance and Apollo would own stakes in Boots, although it is not clear if they will have equal shares.
Boots’ current owner, Walgreen Boots Alliance, announced a review of the UK business which could lead to a sale
Mukesh Ambani is reported to be preparing a bid to buy Boots with US private equity firm Apollo Management
Who is India’s richest man Mukesh Ambani?
Mukesh Ambani is a teetotal vegetarian who his wife describes as quiet, modest and shy.
He enjoys visiting wildlife parks and once said he tries to watch three Bollywood films a week.
The billionaire inherited the makings of his wealth from his father Dhirubhai, who was the son of a Gujarati village school teacher.
Said to have moved to Mumbai with just a few rupees in his pocket, according to the Times of India, his father went on to build a global-scale petroleum company in 40 years.
Mukesh was one of two sons, Anil being the other.
He trained as a chemical engineer in Mumbai, and went to Stanford University, US, before working for his father.
The businessman then inherited his section of the business after his father died of a stroke in 2002.
Originally the brother’s tried to run it together but, following feuding, their mother stepped in and split it into two parts.
Mukesh walked away with the petroleum, oil, gas and textiles arms while his brother got the telecommunications, asset management, entertainment and power generation parts.
Boots’ current owner, Walgreen Boots Alliance, announced a review of the UK business which could lead to a sale.
It was previously reported that Boots, which owns more than 2,200 stores across the UK, could be valued at as much as £6 billion.
It is understood that a mid-May deadline has been set for final bids for the high street chemist.
Asda’s owners, the billionaire Issa brothers and TDR Capital, are also reported to be taking part in the takeover process.
It was reported last month that billionaire Issa brothers, who hail from Blackburn in Lancashire, are looking to add it to their portfolio of companies.
The siblings already own Euro Garages and fast food chain Leon.
Mr Ambani, who according to Forbes is the second richest man in Asia with a fortune of $101.8 billion, is thought to be looking to expand his firm into retailing pharmaceuticals.
Reliance bought UK toy maker Hamleys for an undisclosed sum last year, and has also taken control of country club Stoke Park in Buckinghamshire for £56m.
Last year the Ambani family were criticised by animal groups after unveiling plans to build the world’s biggest zoo on a 280-acre plot of land in western India.
They announced they want to house around 100 different species in the zoo and build an animal rescue sanctuary in the city of Jamnagar.
The Ambanis sparked anger among animal rights activists after two rare black panthers were transferred from a state-run zoo to their own private establishment in a ‘hush-hush’ move.