Guy Hands is plotting to create an international healthcare empire based on the BUPA hospital portfolio and Alliance Boots under an umbrella brand of 'Wellness'. Sunday Telegraph. Sunday Times

Terra Firma has teamed up with Macquarie to bid for the 26 Bupa hospitals that have been put up for sale. And it is due this week to meet the management of Alliance Boots to discuss its indicative £11.26-a-share offer, made with Wellcome Trust.

Hands proposes to merge the two businesses and shift Alliance Boots’ focus away from pharmaceutical wholesaling and on to NHS support services and other healthcare initiatives. It is understood that Terra Firma and Wellcome Trust see huge potential in the local pharmacies owned by the retailer, following a NHS pilot to tender out the running of GP surgeries to private companies.

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, whose £10.90-a-share bud was recommended by the Boots board on Friday, is thought to favour a raft of large acquisitions of wholesale companies around the world.