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Boots denies merger with Sainsbury’s

UK chemist chain Boots is denying reports it will merge with supermarket group Sainsbury’s.

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LONDON (Brand Republic) – UK chemist chain Boots is denying reports it will merge with supermarket group Sainsbury’s.

The story -- which comes at the same time as speculation that Boots is to close 250 of its 1,450 stores -- if correct, would have meant the creation of a combined food and healthcare retailer worth £12bn.

Newspaper reports suggest the two companies had been keen for a merger. Sainsbury’s, recently overtaken by rival Tesco as the UK’s leading supermarket chain, is now run by new chief executive Sir Peter Davis, a former director at Boots.

Boots has been the focus of takeover talks for the past six months. It is seen as a potential target for Wal-Mart, the US supermarket giant and parent company of Asda. Recently it pulled the plug on its Dutch operations after only three years, selling its 17 sites to supermarket company Royal Ahold.

Boots said a “few dozen” Boots stores in town centres would be closed, but said any redundancies would be offset by plans to build 30 large stores during the next six months. These are expected to be built on the outskirts of towns and employ up to 1,000 people each.



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