"Halfords is a very good business. Its profitability is increasing and we’re very
happy to have it within the Boots portfolio," said the Boots spokesman.
"We’re continuing to enjoy the benefits of very healthy returns [from Halfords]
and therefore, we’re not in a hurry [to dispose of it]."
However, as can be seen from the bikebiz.co.uk stories from earlier in the year (see related articles, below), selling Halfords remains on the PLC’s agenda and should management receive an attractive offer, then "we will seriously consider it," said the Boots spokesman.
The spokesman would not be drawn on the Sunday Telegraph article claiming Boots has
set aside plans to sell Halfords, valued at £400m, because no suitors had stepped forward and therefore will be spinning off the unit into a separate company instead.
The Sunday Telegraph reported that the plan for the spin-off will be discussed at the start of 2002. The plan would involve Boots shareholders getting one share in the new company for each Boots share they already own. The newspaper did not reveal its source for the story.
11th May 2001 – Don’t sell Halfords for £400m, say brokers
It’s worth more like £590m, reckon the experts.
8th May 2001 – Has the chemistry gone? Will Boots flog Halfords?
It’s profitable but it’s not soapy enough for Boots The Chemists: “It does not fit with our strategic intent,” said a Boots spokesman. According to the Sunday Times, a number of bidders are circling the bike and auto accessories chain. However, Boots said today that no bid has been received and the chain is not for sale