US drugstore giant Walgreens Wednesday said it will buy the remaining stake of British counterpart Alliance Boots, but that it will not relocate its headquarters overseas to save taxes.
Walgreens, which in 2012 acquired 45 percent of the British drugstore chain, said the transaction will cost it $5.29 billion in cash plus 144.3 million shares of Walgreen common stock, worth almost $10 billion based on Walgreens' closing share price Tuesday.
"We are excited to move forward with the next important step in becoming a new kind of global health care leader," said Walgreens president and CEO Greg Wasson.
Walgreens said it will maintain its headquarters in Illinois in the US after determining that relocating overseas for tax purposes "was not in the best long-term interest of our shareholders."
Walgreens said it rejected the so-called tax "inversion" in part because it was "mindful of the ongoing public reaction to a potential inversion and Walgreens unique role as an iconic American consumer retail company with a major portion of its revenues derived from government-funded reimbursement programs."
Walgreens also said it was skeptical an inversion could withstand "extensive" review from US tax officials.