Plus, the latest pharmacy and healthcare news to know this week
Walgreens Boots Alliance is exploring a potential new deal to go private. According to Bloomberg, the company recently had informal talks with private equity firms, including KKR & Co. If successful, a deal of this size could be the largest leveraged buyout in history.
Why It Matters
Walgreens Boots Alliance’s retail and pharmacy businesses have faced pressure from online competitors as customers increasingly move to online stores for their drugstore needs. As a result, shares of Walgreens, one of the world’s largest pharmacies with over 9,000 locations, have dropped about 22% over the past year. The company announced earlier this year that it would close about 200 stores in the U.S. to cut down on costs with a goal to trim more than $1.8 billion by fiscal year 2022.
Going private would help Walgreens get out of the public eye and adapt to the rapidly changing retail landscape. The company would also be free from quarterly earning reports and the pressure to present short-term results to public shareholders, allowing it to invest in more long-term strategies.
Walgreens has declined to comment to news organizations, but with a market capitalization of approximately $55 billion, a buyout would be substantial. Some potential firms have shown reluctance about making a deal as it is unclear how feasible the whole process would be.
Other Healthcare News to Know
- Costco and Instacart are partnering on a new project to test free one-hour prescription deliveries. CNBC.
- A Mississippi Hospital has launched a specialty pharmacy program to make complex and expensive drugs more accessible to patients. Becker’s Hospital Review.
- A study released on Monday suggests that a rise in religious vaccine exemptions means some parents are making false claims. Stat News.
- Democratic lawmakers propose that developing slightly fewer medications may be worth lower drug prices. Stat News.
- According to new research, people are increasingly seeking out medical diagnoses through social media platforms. CNBC.