A potential acquisition of drug distributor AmerisourceBergen by Walgreens Boots Alliance is usually right in line with CEO Stefano Pessina’s past moves, analysts say, which might add another piece to the global pharmacy empire the Italian billionaire helped assemble.
Pessina along with his management team aren’t afraid to think outside the box, George Hill, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets, told CNBC.
The 76-year-old Pessina started out by turning a local family drug distributor into the multibillion-dollar European powerhouse Alliance Boots. He later pushed for the partnership between Alliance Boots along with Walgreens, which eventually bought the rest of Alliance in 2014 along with made Pessina chief executive officer.
“Stefano incorporates a very successful track record of doing deals in This particular space,” Hill said. Hill called the possibility of an AmerisourceBergen along with Walgreens deal unusual nevertheless added Pessina’s management team isn’t afraid of complexity.
The Wall Street Journal reported late Monday which Walgreens approached AmerisourceBergen about buying the firm. AmerisourceBergen shares skyrocketed more than 25 percent after hours Monday along with were up as much as 13 percent on Tuesday.
Walgreens, which owns about a 26 percent stake in AmerisourceBergen, has not made a formal offer, according to the Journal, which added a deal may not materialize.
AmerisourceBergen did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment. Walgreens declined to comment on the Journal’s report.
The deal might certainly align with Pessina’s “world dominance” strategy, said David Larsen, a Leerink Partners analyst, who covers Walgreens along with various other drug retailers.
“We believe the [Walgreens/AmerisourceBergen] transaction is usually very consistent with Stefano’s long-term strategy,” Larsen said in a note to clients. “The format of the potential transaction is usually consistent with past deals where [Walgreens] might acquire a portion of ‘target.'”
Mike Bailey, director of research at FBB Capital Partners, told CNBC which several of the actions taken by Pessina throughout his career have worked out well. However, he doesn’t see Pessina’s possible push for buying the remainder of Amerisource as a smart move.
“When Walgreens first bought AmerisourceBergen, This particular worked out well without doing a full transaction,” Bailey said. “This particular is usually probably not the best move long term.”
Pessina could be approaching the drug distributor out of fear of e-commerce giant Amazon, which is usually in talks about a potential entry into the pharmacy space, Bailey argued. Amazon announced last month a venture with Berkshire Hathaway along with J.P. Morgan in hopes of reducing health-care costs. The three-company alliance brings together a formative brain trust in Jeff Bezos of Amazon, Warren Buffett of Berkshire along with Jamie Dimon of J.P. Morgan.
“If which [venture] takes off, I think somebody like a drug distributor or retail drug store is usually going to see a little more pressure,” Bailey said, nevertheless he added which he’s skeptical of the Bezos-Buffett-Dimon joint venture along with said This particular could be nothing more than a “splashy advertisement.”
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