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Reports: WBA explores going private

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NEW YORK — According to various published reports, Walgreens Boots Alliance is exploring going private in what could mark the largest leveraged buyout in history.

One of the firms looking at a deal is KKR. KKR has a history with the retailer. In 2007, it bought Alliance Boots in partnership with Stefano Pessina, then the executive chairman of Alliance Boots, and other investors.

KKR stayed on as an investor after Walgreens announced a two-part deal to acquire Alliance Boots in 2012. By the time Walgreens acquired all of Alliance Boots, in 2015, KKR had roughly quadrupled its cash investment, according to media reports at the time.

“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,” Reuters reported in their story.


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