Page last updated at 11:45 GMT, Sunday, 7 June 2009 12:45 UK

Hornby in talks on top Boots job

Boots store
Alliance Boots was bought by a private equity firm in 2007

The UK High Street's biggest chemist chain, Alliance Boots, is in talks with former HBOS boss Andy Hornby as it seeks to appoint a new chief executive.

Mr Hornby, in charge of HBOS at the time of the bank's near-collapse last autumn, is among several candidates for the post.

Before moving to HBOS he spent time in senior posts at supermarket giant Asda.

Boots and Alliance Unichem merged in 2006 to form Alliance Boots, later taken over by private equity firm KKR.

Alliance Boots is Europe's largest wholesale and retail player in the pharmaceutical industry and employs 115,000 people.

It is currently run by the Italian billionaire Stefano Pessina, who holds the post of executive chairman.

"Alliance Boots confirms it is currently engaged in discussions with Andy Hornby, who is a leading candidate for the role," the firm said in a statement.

BBC business correspondent Joe Lynam said an announcement on the chief executive role should be made within two weeks, but may be brought forward.

In May Boots reported a pre-tax profit of £13m for the year to 31 March, with its UK sales boosted by its No7 cosmetics range.

Mr Hornby is a non-executive director of Home Retail Group, which owns Argos and Homebase.

He led led HBOS up to the end of 2008 when the company posted banking losses of £11bn - before being swallowed up by rivals Lloyds TSB.

Mr Hornby had been the youngest-ever boss of a main British bank when he became HBOS chief executive three years ago.

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RTE Online Failed bank boss to run Boots - 43 hrs ago
Sky News Former HBOS Boss Lands Boots Top Job - 45 hrs ago
Ananova Ex-Bank Boss Lands Top High Street Job - 46 hrs ago
The Independent Alliance Boots set to name Hornby as new CEO - 53 hrs ago

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