News Roundup: Walgreen Boots Alliance

When the news leaked last Tuesday that Walgreens would not seek a tax inversion, media outlets jumped to cover this latest twist in the inversion summer saga. The next morning, the company confirmed it will not move to Europe as part of its planned takeover of Alliance Boots. Since then, the press has spent a lot of ink dissecting the inversion that wasn’t.

The wave of news coverage is a lot to keep tabs on, which is why we’ve compiled some of the best stories about Walgreens’ decision not to re-domicile below.

Walgreens Shuns Inversion In £5bn Boots Deal
MARK KLEINMAN, Sky News | August 5th, 2014

Activists applaud Walgreen decision
MEGAN CREPAU, Red Eye Chicago | August 5th, 2014

Reports: Walgreens won’t tap lucrative tax loophole
AAMER MADHANI, USA Today | August 5th, 2014

Double Punch for ‘Inversion’ Deals
DAMIAN PALETTA & DANA MATTIOLI, Wall Street Journal | August 5th, 2014

Walgreen CEO: Leaving U.S. wasn’t in best interest of shareholders
PETER FROST, Chicago Tribune | August 6th, 2014

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Walgreen Will Not Pursue Inversion

After months of speculation, Walgreen announced on Wednesday that it will not pursue a  tax avoidance strategy known as “inversion.” Activist investors had urged the company to shift its tax domicile to Switzerland as part of a $15 billion deal to acquire the remaining 55 percent of Alliance Boots it doesn’t own.

Walgreen cited IRS scrutiny, mounting political pressure and a “potential consumer backlash” among the factors informing their decision, and announced that the new holding company created by the acquisition, Walgreen Boots Alliance, would be based in the Chicago area.

In the lead-up to this announcement, Change to Win helped bring the company and the inversion issue into spotlight for consumers and elected leaders. Over 300,000 consumers reportedly signed various petitions calling on the company to stay put, activists held rallies outside Walgreen’s flagship stores in Chicago, and members of Congress sought to make the company a poster child for inversion. President Obama called companies considering inversions “corporate deserters,” and his administration began looking at ways it could act alone to stop inversions.

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