In a surprising move, Alliance Boots bosses have rejected a proposed $18.7 billion takeover offer from a private equity group led by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, saying the offered price was too low. The board of Alliance Boots declined the offer saying, ‘it does not believe the proposal reflects the fundamental value of the company or the ‘attractive prospects, opportunities and synergies’ available to Alliance Boots following the very recent completion of its merger’. The friendly takeover bid had the backing of Italian billionaire Stephano Pessina, who already owns a 15 percent stake in Boots. Apparently, this decision of Alliance Boots has mounted pressure on its deputy chairman Stefano Pessina to increase his prospective takeover approach to more than the offered price after the group’s board dismissed the offered price. Alliance Boots is the biggest pharmacy chain in Europe and was created last year by the merger of pharmacy chain Alliance UniChem and health and beauty retailer Boots. KKR and Pessina, the company’s deputy chairman and largest shareholder, had offered 1,000 pence a share for Nottingham-based Alliance Boots. The price represented 23 percent premium on stock price closed on the March 8. According to the reports, KKR and Pessina, are weighing every possible alternative including whether to make a higher joint bid for the high street chain. If the deal has been reached it would mark Europe’s largest leveraged buyout, significantly surpassing a possible buyout of supermarket chain J. Sainsbury PLC.