The American owner of Boots, Walgreens Boots Alliance, has shelved plans for a potential £7bn sale of the British high street giant for the second time, The Telegraph has reported.

Boots Covent Garden exterior

Walgreens has abandoned plans for a sale after it issued a profit warning on Wednesday, leaving the health and beauty retailer at risk of a further squeeze on in-store investments.

The group has owned Boots since 2014 and previously dropped plans for a sale in 2022 after suitors failed to meet its asking price of £7bn.

In contrast to the group’s profit warning and share price falling to their lowest since 1997, Boots’ sales delivered 1.6% overall growth as market share in the UK grew for the 13th consecutive quarter.

Walgreens chief executive Tim Wentworth told The Telegraph: ”Our review of Boots UK showed that we have attractive options to unlock value in this business.

“While we believe there is significant interest in Boots at the right time, its growth, strategic strength and cash flow remain key contributors to the company.

“We are committed to continuing to invest in Boots UK and find innovative ways for this business to fulfil its potential.”

However, the decision leaves Boots at the risk of a further squeeze on investment in stores in the UK. Walgreens has already cut the health and beauty retailer’s store count by 650 in the UK and has been in the limelight for underinvestment.