Boots targets five firms in post-merger adviser review

ALLIANCE Boots’ head of legal will kick off a closely watched panel review for the former FTSE100 company now that its £11.1bn buyout has all but completed.

Legal affairs head Marco Pagni, who will be a director of the newly privatised company, told The Lawyer that he is looking to formulate a panel of around five firms.

During the past 12 months Boots merged with Alliance-Unichem in an £8.1bn union, then in February was the subject of a management buyout led by deputy chairman Stefano Pessina, backed by Clifford Chance private equity client Kohlberg Kravis Roberts. The buyout disrupted Pagni’s plans in late 2006 for a panel review.

Slaughter and May, the legacy Boots adviser, was lead counsel to the company on the buyout. Allen & Overy (A&O), which advised Alliance-Unichem on the 2006 combination, has advised the high street chain on competition aspects since the merger.

Pagni said that although it is highly likely that A&O and Slaughters will win places on the panel, nothing is set in stone.