KKR makes formal offer to buy Walgreens

Private equity firm KKR & Co. made a formal offer Nov. 11 to buy Walgreens Boots Alliance in what would be the largest leveraged buyout in history, people familiar with the deal told Bloomberg.

The retail pharmacy chain told CNBC Nov. 5 that it is looking at its options to take the company private as it struggles to adapt to the changing pharmacy landscape. If it goes through, it would be the largest leveraged buyout in history, as Walgreens has a market value of about $53 billion and $16.8 billion in debt.

Walgreens shares jumped about 5 percent in premarket trading Nov. 11 after Bloomberg reported news of the potential deal.

The deal is not finalized, however, and it is unclear how feasible it is considering the need for large amounts of financing.

It wouldn't be the first time New York City-based KKR partnered with Deerfield, Ill.-based Walgreens, as Walgreens CEO Stefano Pessina worked with the firm in 2007 to acquire Alliance Boots.

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