Two buyout giants, Bain Capital and CVC, have reportedly joined forces to launch a multi-billion pound bid for British health and beauty retailer Boots.
According to Sky News which reported it first, the takeover is based on substantial investment in the chemist's digital, beauty and healthcare services offerings.
Other private equity firms are also expected to table offers in the near future, as part of a process to be run by Goldman Sachs (GS).
But the joint bid has turned heads due to the role of Dominic Murphy, a senior partner at CVC, who is also a director of Boots' US parent company Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA).
According to the report, Murphy will need to recuse himself from boardroom discussions about the deal to avoid a conflict of interest. He was also an architect of the £11bn takeover of Alliance Boots by KKR, the private equity firm he previously worked for, in 2007.
Retail insiders told the broadcaster that Bain and CVC were being advised by bankers at Lazard on their interest in the firm.
Both firms have invested heavily in UK companies, ranging from Formula One to Worldpay, while Bain has also recently backed Maesa, a French beauty manufacturer.
Boots, which axed 4,000 jobs during the height of the pandemic in 2020, has more than 2,000 stores and employs over 50,000 members of staff. It also recently restructured its Nottingham head office and store management teams.
Its US parent last week revealed strong trading figures of the UK chain.
Yahoo Finance reached out to Bain Capital and CVC for comment.
Watch: How to prevent getting into debt