Reliance Retail and Apollo are understood to have made a formal offer for Boots, which would allow current owner Walgreens to retain a significant minority stake.
The binding bid values the UK health and beauty retailer at between £5bn and £6bn, as first reported by the Financial Times.
The joint bidders have emerged as the frontrunner to snap up Boots after brothers Mohsin and Zuber Issa, who own Asda, threatened to walk away last month alongside joint bidder TDR Capital due to a disagreement over price.
Please sign in now if you have a subscription or are already registered with us.
Retail-Week.com provides premium, in-depth intelligence that helps retailers judge risks, spot opportunities and identify what they need to do to win in the digital economy.
Register today for a taste of our high-quality intelligence and enjoy:
Discover Retail Week register now
Please note, if you have recently purchased a subscription, it may take a few minutes before your account is updated.