Monday 11 August 2014

Walgreen abandons inversion plan

Interesting news in the past few days that Walgreen won't shift its base to Switzerland as part of its takeover of Alliance Boots. There was a backlash against the plan, known as tax inversion (also potentially part of the Pfizer Astra plan if it had gone ahead), with union shareholder activists directly involved.

As the WSJ put it:

The tactic involves using an acquisition to move corporate headquarters to a tax-friendly locale, such as the U.K., Ireland or Switzerland. Such a move could have cut Walgreen's total tax bill by a third—but also attracted attention from the U.S. government.

Notably CTW has also highlighted Walgreen's apparent violations of Regulation FD.

The takeover also returns Boots, now part of a larger group, to the public market, seven years after being taken private by KKR. Funnily enough this was one of the first things I blogged a lot about, as there was quite a bit of discussion about the commitment of the new owners to properly funding the Boots pension scheme (an issue raised by unions on this side of the Atlantic).

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