Walgreens Boots Alliance is in the process of contacting potential buyers to sell its UK-based Boots drugstore chain in a second attempt at separating the unit, Bloomberg News reported Monday, sending its shares up nearly 5%.

The company is working with advisers to conduct preliminary discussions with prospective bidders for the unit, worth about 7 billion pounds ($8.78 billion), the report stated, citing people familiar with the development.

Walgreens declined to respond to a Reuters request for comment.

“From a strategic perspective, this makes sense to us as it would enable Walgreens to focus on its core U.S. Retail Pharmacy operations while also managing the U.S. Healthcare business, Leerink Partners analyst Michael Cherny said in a note.

In 2022, Walgreens had scrapped preliminary plans to sell the unit. However, it revived discussions on separating Boots, including the possibility of an initial public offering in London, according to a Bloomberg report late last year. ($1 = 0.7970 pounds)


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