Analysis: Could and should Pessina take Walgreens Boots private?

Stefano Pessina at Retail Week Live 2015

Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) executive chairman Stefano Pessina is understood to be making an audacious play to take the health and wellness group private. Could he, and should he, pull it off?

If Pessina is successful, it would be the largest leveraged buyout in corporate history, valued at $70bn.

It’s a jaw-dropping move, but one that is not out of character for the 78-year-old billionaire, who has built his career on dramatic deals.

Pessina first arrived on the UK retail scene in 2006, when he orchestrated the merger of Boots and wholesale pharmaceutical giant Alliance – having previously merged Alliance with pharmacy distributor Unichem in 1997 – which was listed on the London Stock Exchange.

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