Report: Walgreen mulls buying rest of Boots in strategy to cut tax rate

Walgreen (WAG) is thinking about buying the 55% in European peer Alliance Boots it doesn't own, The Sunday Times reports.

Taking inspiration from Pfizer in its pursuit of AstraZeneca, Walgreen would then move its domicile to the U.K. or Switzerland in order to lower its tax rate and save billions of dollars a year.

Walgreen purchased 45% of Boots in 2012 in a cash-and-stock deal worth $6.7B and has a three-year option to acquire the rest.

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Comments (20)
  • Patent News
    , contributor
    Comments (1475) | Send Message
    why is this still legal??
    18 May 2014, 09:49 AM Reply Like
  • rambler1
    , contributor
    Comments (1048) | Send Message
    Corporate lobbying.
    18 May 2014, 01:16 PM Reply Like
  • DrP79
    , contributor
    Comments (2512) | Send Message
    more importantly why is the tax law written to tax profits OUTSIDE THE US and then TAX the repatriation of profits back to the US.


    Change the tax law and firms would not consider the tax advantages of leaving the US or keep profits earned overseas outside the US.
    18 May 2014, 01:37 PM Reply Like
  • ads7w6
    , contributor
    Comments (44) | Send Message
    I'm not going to argue that the tax code doesn't need changing, but the US does not tax overseas profits once and then tax them again when the profits are brought home to the US. Those overseas profits are only taxed once.
    18 May 2014, 08:40 PM Reply Like
  • GotLife
    , contributor
    Comments (1377) | Send Message
    How could it possibly be illegal for an international corporation to choose it's domicile? The antibusiness mood in the US reminds me of the phrase, " Beatings will continue until morale improves."
    18 May 2014, 11:24 PM Reply Like
  • DrP79
    , contributor
    Comments (2512) | Send Message
    The US is one of the few taxing jurisdictions that tax all income no matter where earned.


    There is a major tax for repatriating money earned overseas to the US. That is a major reason for several deals in the news recently. One such deal is Pfizer trying to buy AZ.


    Ebay decided to take the big tax hit returning profits to the US and that was news. It is thought that was an attempt to buy off Icahn.
    18 May 2014, 11:45 PM Reply Like
  • Bald Wally
    , contributor
    Comments (3) | Send Message
    Outstanding question.
    18 May 2014, 11:18 AM Reply Like
  • norteamericano
    , contributor
    Comments (45) | Send Message
    I wonder if they factor in the impact to corporate image.
    18 May 2014, 11:39 AM Reply Like
  • brian65pls
    , contributor
    Comments (131) | Send Message
    @Patent News: How could you outlaw this? The USA part of the business will always pay USA taxes. It's just that the international part of the income would no longer be subject to USA taxes. You should be asking why does the USA tax foreign earnings? Sometimes earnings are taxed twice; once in the country earned, once in the USA. Most (if not all) western countries do not tax foreign earnings. Why is APPLE holding billions of earnings off shore, borrowing with bonds in the USA to pay dividends and buy back stock - because those earnings would be taxed if brought back onshore in the USA. Trillions of earnings would return to the USA if congress would get rid of this ridiculous law of taxing foreign earnings.
    18 May 2014, 11:59 AM Reply Like
  • 25540633
    , contributor
    Comments (159) | Send Message
    You are right. Under the Bush Administration, that there were discussions in the Congress about granting incentives for big corporations repatriating offshore earnings back to the U.S. soil. The catch was that, these companies must make certain a certain amount of these earnings in capital investments prior to qualifying the "tax breaks", etc.


    In my opinion, this tax-incentive legislation had failed.
    18 May 2014, 09:07 PM Reply Like
  • DrP79
    , contributor
    Comments (2512) | Send Message
    The "reform" was to change the explicit tax to one of tax by regulation with hidden costs.
    20 May 2014, 10:46 AM Reply Like
  • U2A Ventures
    , contributor
    Comments (356) | Send Message
    this is capitalism on a global scale
    18 May 2014, 01:09 PM Reply Like
  • rambler1
    , contributor
    Comments (1048) | Send Message
    Fine buy the rest of Boots but shut down the entire Walgreen U.S. based stores. That's fair.
    18 May 2014, 01:17 PM Reply Like
  • rheimerl
    , contributor
    Comments (494) | Send Message
    better yet why doesnt the us lower corporate rates to match europe? lower the rate so companies will bring foreign held cash home!... the dems dont get it! ..... 35% of nothing is still zero!!... 10% of how many billion equals alot of tax revenue!!
    18 May 2014, 02:50 PM Reply Like
  • Larry Pileski
    , contributor
    Comment (1) | Send Message
    That's the to tell it like it is Brian. Why doesn't congress and our dear president get there act in gear?
    18 May 2014, 02:50 PM Reply Like
  • Scootrd
    , contributor
    Comments (392) | Send Message
    You all do realize per the constitution of US, there was never meant to be a personal income tax, only a “duties,” tariffs on imports. in other words - let them go overseas then tax 'em when they import their goods and services.
    18 May 2014, 02:58 PM Reply Like
  • taxman100
    , contributor
    Comments (642) | Send Message
    Income tax has all kinds of unintended consequences. It does give me, and a million others, a job, but in theory I could be doing something much more beneficial to the economy than trying to figure out ways to keep my employer's money out of the government's pocket legally.


    U.S. corporate tax system is a mess, combined with every "fix" always ending up giving politicians another way to funnel money to their crony capitalism supporters.


    Historians will have no problem writing about why the United States declined so rapidly during the 21st century.
    18 May 2014, 03:42 PM Reply Like
  • curbyourrisq
    , contributor
    Comments (151) | Send Message
    Good for Walgreens. Teach everyone that the US tax code is ridiculous.


    Consumption based flat tax for everyone.
    19 May 2014, 08:50 AM Reply Like
  • Scootrd
    , contributor
    Comments (392) | Send Message


    and who do you think picks up the loss in tax revenues? drum rolll...........yep you and me. A few years ago GE paid 0 in US taxes (most pay no where near 35% as it is). It's BS. Our tax code needs an overhaul.
    20 May 2014, 06:35 AM Reply Like
  • Alex2322
    , contributor
    Comments (332) | Send Message
    How sad abandon the american people. I understand the tax code is bad. But if that happens I wouldn't support taking jobs out of the US as well.
    20 May 2014, 12:44 AM Reply Like
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