Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Stefano Pessina, Alliance Boots’ deputy executive chairman, have rebuffed claims from the GMB union that, if their takeover attempt were successful, they would close more than 130 stores. Daily Telegraph.

A spokesman for KKR and Pessina said: ‘I can categorically state that community pharmacies are the backbone of our business and we have no intention of closing any. To suggest that 130 are at risk is nonsensical.

Meanwhile, Guy Hands’ Terra Firma has been granted access to the books of Alliance Boots as it attempts to prepare a counterbid.

Sources described the access as ‘limited’, as the Alliance Boots board is understood to be demanding a formal offer from Terra Firma and evidence of funding before giving full access.