Guy Hands has begun due-diligence work on a £10bn bid for Alliance Boots. The Times.

Hands’ private equity firm, Terra Firma, which has teamed up with Wellcome Trust, obtained copies of the retailer’s books on Saturday and a team of financiers began working on them over the weekend.

The pair are up against Stefano Pessina, Alliance Boot’s deputy chairman, and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, who are expected to launch an offer of £11.4bn – £10.40 a share – within days.