Walgreens Boots Alliance has abandoned the sale process for the Boots chain in the UK after the upheaval in credit markets resulted in bids that were below its initial expectations (The Financial Times £). While Walgreens is understood to have initially sought up to £7 billion for Boots, it told shareholders yesterday that market turbulence had “severely” curtailed the availability of financing for interested parties (The Times £). A lack of available funding due to ructions in the credit markets meant none of the potential bidders could make a high enough offer. It was thought Walgreens were hoping for £7billion – a price many suitors baulked at (Daily Mail).

Boots has previous told staff at its headquarters in Nottingham that they had received offers close to their valuation earlier this year, before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine prompted a further bout of volatility in global financial markets (The Guardian).

The decision will cast doubt over the long-term strategy of a stalwart of the UK high street, which had been identified as non-core to its American parent’s future. (Sky News)

Alex Brummer in the Mail writes: “Walgreens has not given up on a partial float in the UK. An eventual IPO would be attractive. But not if the group finds itself short of investment funds because of the greater ambition of Walgreens… It is hard to escape the fact that the 2,000-strong store portfolio needs refurbishment and investment. The ownership roller-coaster couldn’t be anything but unsettling for Boots chief executive Sebastian James.” (Daily Mail)

UK National Lottery operator Camelot has posted a year-on-year fall in sales, ahead of a legal ruling on the future of the lottery franchise due as early as Wednesday (The Financial Times £). The outgoing operator of the National Lottery flagged up signs that players have “tightened their belts” during the cost of living crisis as it revealed that sales of tickets and instant-win games have fallen (The Times £). People are buying fewer scratch cards than before the pandemic as living costs soar, the boss of Camelot has said (BBC).

Diageo, the drinks company, will wind down its operations in Russia over the next six months, becoming the latest western brand to withdraw. (The Times £)

Shop prices rose at their fastest pace in 14 years this month as the rising cost of materials such as fertiliser continued to push up the price of food (The Times £). Shop prices have hit their highest rate of inflation in almost 14 years as businesses grapple with soaring supply chain costs and a cut in household spending, figures from the British Retail Consortium show (The Guardian).

Supermarket shoppers are turning to cheaper frozen foods as they watch “every penny and every pound”, according to the boss of Sainsbury’s. (The Guardian)

A high-flying lawyer advising one of Ocado’s co-founders ‘panicked’ before seeking to destroy evidence rather than hand it over to the online supermarket, a court heard yesterday. (Daily Mail)

Poundland is increasing the number of products it sells for a pound as retailers battle for customers. Around half of its products are priced at a pound, but the business says by the end of this week 60% of what it sells will be a pound or less. (BBC)