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Usdaw, one of the major trade unions in the UK, has sought assurances for its members working in Boots, following reports that the parent company of the iconic health and beauty retailer and pharmacy chain is considering putting the business on sale next year.

Walgreen Boots Alliance (WBA), the US health group that owns a stake in Boots UK since 2012, is reportedly lining up Goldman Sachs to explore the sale of business with potential valuation of £10 billion.

Currently, the process is thought to be solely exploratory and may not necessarily convert into the sale of the 172-year-old firm.

Usdaw national officer, Daniel Adams, said: “We note that the company declined to comment on speculation, but acknowledged that the group’s strategic direction ‘includes a more pointed focus on North America and on healthcare’.

“Boots workers are key workers delivering essential services and worked throughout the pandemic. They have contributed to the strong operational of Boots and the growth of its retail and pharmacy arms.

“Although at this stage it is only speculation, this is clearly an unsettling time for our members and we are seeking assurances from the company over the future of the business and job security.”

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