Boots is famed for health, fragrance and beauty products .They are also focused on toiletries, fragrance, skincare, baby products, glasses, electricals and so much more.
Whether you need something for a headache or your baby has a fever, you’ve probably been in a Boots store before or visited their website. The company has an over century-long history in the UK and may soon be a household name in America too. With over 2,500 stores to their name, you always know there’s a Boots nearby. With a mission that involves helping people feel better, that’s probably a good thing too.
Boots is the UK presence for a multinational group called Alliance Boots (a.k.a. Alliance Boots GmbH). The company is dedicated to health and beauty, though they have the distinction of being a company in this field that is essentially led by a pharmacy. So no matter what your goals are or what products you intend on using, you have the benefit of expertise in the field working for you.
We’ll return to this important component of the Boots story in a moment, but for now, let’s take a look back at this company’s long history. Despite their modern approach, Boots actually goes all the way back to 1849, when it was founded in Nottingham.
Since that time, however, the company has been busy building its brand to ever new proportions. Today, it is not uncommon to see a Boots store along any of the high streets located in Ireland or the United Kingdom.
Its name comes from John Boot, the man who found the company. He would die, however, within just ten years of starting his store and his young son Jesse, only ten at the time, would take over operations with his mom. By 1883, it was Boot and Co. Ltd. Five years later, the name was Boots Pure Drug Company, Ltd.
In 1920, Boot sold his late father’s company to United Drug Company. It would only be in their possession until 1933, however, because of the Great Depression. When it came back to Great Britain, the owner was John Boot’s grandson, now the Baron Trent.
It was Baron Trent who first recognized the need to diversify the company’s products. One of his first initiatives, then, was to begin the company on a course of researching and developing drugs, along with selling them. Ibuprofen was a great example and success, which they worked on during the 60s. In fact, the company was presented with the Queen’s Award for Technical Achievement in 1987 for their work on this matter.
Toward the end of 2004, the company sold a laser eye surgery business they had started to a company called Optical Express.
Then, less than a year later, the 150 year old company merged with Alliance UniChem. The result was Alliance Boots, a name that remains to this day. On July 31, 2006, the merger—which had been first announced by Sir Nigel Rudd—was made official.
In April of the following year, Alliance Boots was purchased by Stefano Pessina and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts for 11.1 billion pounds. The two men immediately took the company private. Never before had an FTSE 100 company been purchased by a private equity firm before. Shortly thereafter, the company moved to Zug, Switzerland taking close to 100 million pounds of tax revenue with them.
Walgreens is also affiliated with Boots, as the largest drug store retailer in America purchased a 45% stake in the company. The price was $6.7 billion. Aside from the obvious benefits to both sides, the deal was also said to be part of a larger plan to help both companies gain more exposure on the other sides of the Atlantic. Plus, Walgreens would get the added benefit of seeing sales in China, where Boots is already well-established.
In August of 2014, Walgreens announced it had plans to actually buy up the rest of Boots. Part of the original purchase was that a full merger could continue within three years of the payment for 45% at a price of $9.5 billion.
The Boots Charitable Trust
Boots doesn’t just market and sell drugs and other health-related products though. The company has also started the Boots Charitable Trust which it works to fund as well. As an independently registered charity in the United Kingdom, it is administered over by the Nottingham-shire Community Foundation. It was established back in the early 70’s in order to fund other registered charities dedicated to benefiting the people of Nottingham-shire.
Although the company has already seen a lot of success over the past 100 years, it would appear they’re hungry for more and on a course to get it. So you can continue to look for a Boots sign whenever you have a health concern.