NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Walgreen Co. (WAG) are up 3.70% to $69.95 after it was reported that Alliance Boots, which runs Europe's largest pharmacy chain, could be wholly owned by the biggest U.S. drug-store chain within eight months, according to the Telegraph.
Walgreen now holds a 45% stake and has an option to buy the remaining 55% between February and August next year.
However, Walgreen hopes to move sooner in a takeover valuing Boots at around 10.5 billion pounds, the Telegraph said.
The deal is attractive to Walgreen because it would enable the business to move its tax domicile to either the U.K. or Switzerland, making annual savings of billions of dollars.
The drug giant is reportedly accelerating the full takeover option following pressure from a numberl of activist hedge fund investors, including the Och Ziff (OZM), Jana Partners and Corvex, who have amassed a 5% stake in Alliance Boots in recent months.
TheStreet Ratings team rates WALGREEN CO as a Buy with a ratings score of A. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:
"We rate WALGREEN CO (WAG) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, solid stock price performance, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow."