Nov 5, 2019

Report: Walgreens in talks to be acquired

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Walgreens Boots shares were briefly halted on Tuesday afternoon, following a Reuters tweet suggesting the pharmacy giant is in talks to be acquired by private equity firms.

Background: The company is no stranger to private equity. KKR bought Alliance Boots in 2007 in what was, at the time, the largest-ever European buyout, and years later it sold it to Walgreens.

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Walgreens Boots acquisition could be complicated, but size doesn't matter

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

"It would be very, very hard to make the math work." That was my gut reaction after seeing news that Walgreens Boots was in reported talks to be acquired by private equity, in what would be the largest leveraged buyout in history.

Driving the news: I wasn't alone. Blackstone Group CEO Steve Schwarzman said at a Reuters event that it's a "huge stretch doing things over $50 billion," and a Walgreens Boots deal would be closer to $70 billion (not even including assumed debt).

Go deeperArrowNov 7, 2019

Private equity on defense in Washington

What's believed to be the first congressional hearing in recent years squarely focused on the practices of private equity firms is happening later this morning.

Why it matters: Private equity is facing "the most serious political challenge it has seen in years," per the WSJ.

Go deeperArrowNov 19, 2019

House hearing on private equity lands with a whimper

Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. Photos: Sarah Rice/Scott Olson/Getty Images

Tuesday's House of Representatives hearing on private equity landed with a whimper, after more than a week of escalating rhetoric from progressive Democrats.

Reality check: Even if Sen. Elizabeth Warren wins the presidency, she would have a tough time getting her "Stop Wall Street Looting Act" through Congress, with or without Democratic Party control of both chambers.

Go deeperArrowNov 20, 2019