Private-equity firm KKR has approached Walgreens Boots Alliance about a go-private deal that could be the biggest leveraged buyout in history, according to a report. Walgreens shares rallied on the news.
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A deal still may not happen due to a large amount of financing that would be needed, Bloomberg reports, citing people familiar with the matter.
Both Walgreens and KKR declined to comment.
Walgreens Boots Alliance has a market capitalization of almost $56 billion, when including Monday’s gains. U.S.-based Walgreens merged with Alliance Boots in December 2014, in a deal that combined the nation's largest drug store chain with Europe’s largest pharmaceutical wholesaler.
A go-private deal would mark the second time that KKR has done business with the drugstore chain. In 2007, the private-equity firm reached a $22 billion deal for Alliance Boots, which at the time was the largest leveraged buyout in European history.
That same year, KKR and Texas Pacific Group reached a $45 billion deal for the utility TXU Corp., the largest leveraged buyout in history.
Walgreens shares are down 13.3 percent this year, including Monday’s gains.