Reuters reports Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. has explored the option to go private following private equity interest in the U.S drug store chain, which has a market value of more than $55 billion, citing unnamed sources.
In recent months, Walgreens has held preliminary discussions with some of the world’s largest private equity firms about putting together what would be the biggest ever leveraged buyout, the sources said. Walgreens has tasked investment bank Evercore Partners Inc. with exploring whether a transaction can be put together, the sources said, cautioning that a deal is far from certain.
Many private equity firms have pushed back on the idea, concerned about Walgreens’ business prospects and the challenges of financing the deal, the sources added.
The article noted rival CVS Health Corp. has performed well since acquiring health-insurer Aetna for $70 billion in 2018, while Walgreens’ own efforts to expand with the purchase of nearly 2,000 Rite Aid stores have not been fruitful.