As reported, talks that Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) would buy AmerisourceBergen (ABC) have collapsed, as earlier in the month, noted Investors Business Daily, Walgreens CEO Stefano Pessina met with Amerisource head Steven Collis to hammer out a deal. It would have been a sizable one, at more than $25 billion according to some estimates in the financial trade press, and above the $22 billion market cap sported by Amerisource. Walgreens has, at present, roughly a 26 percent stake in AmerisourceBergen.
Both stocks fell on the news.
Walgreens’ stock lost 2.1 percent to end the day at $69.14. Amerisource slipped 2.9 percent to $97.64.
CNBC reported that talks may still revive, citing confidential sources.
The desire to merge, consummated or not, comes amid the recent announcement that a number of firms are crossing into healthcare services. Apple is reportedly launching primary healthcare clinics, to be called AC Wellness, and those clinics will focus on the company’s employees.
Separately, Amazon said earlier in the year that it’s working with Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase to create an independent healthcare company also focused on employees.
Other healthcare deals have been scuttled or scaled down in recent months. In 2017, Walgreens abandoned plans to buy Rite Aid outright, but bought half of the firm’s stores. The Rite Aid stores not snapped up by Walgreens are instead being bought by Albertsons, the grocery powerhouse.
In other healthcare combinations, drug store giant CVS said it would buy Aetna, the health insurance juggernaut, in a $69 billion deal.