Walgreens Boots Alliance, the $70-billion drugstore chain, has received a buyout proposal from the private equity group KKR, a deal that would be the biggest private equity transaction on record. The New York-based private equity firm has been preparing a proposal to potentially buy out shareholders of Walgreens Boots, said the people, who asked not to be identified because discussions are private. It’s unclear how feasible the transaction would be, given the need for large amounts of financing, and Walgreens Boots and KKR could decide against pursuing a deal, the people said.
Walgreens Boots shares rose 6.3 per cent to $63.02 at 10.09 am in New York trading. Its bonds in Europe fell.
Walgreens Boots, led by Chief Executive Officer Stefano Pessina, has been reviewing a potential deal with a financial adviser to take the company private amid buyout interest, Bloomberg News reported last week. Some buyout firms looked but decided against pursuing such a big deal, people with knowledge of the matter said at the time. There’s no certainty the deliberations will lead to a definitive takeover offer, the people said. A representative for KKR couldn’t comment, while a representative for Walgreens Boots declined to comment.