Jana Says Firm Is Working With Walgreen After Transaction
By Saijel Kishan | May 14,
2014 6:59 PM ET
Barry Rosenstein, founder of Jana Partners LLC, said his
hedge-fund firm is working behind the scenes with Walgreeen Co. after
the drugstore chain’s purchase of a controlling stake in U.K. retailer
Alliance Boots Gmbh.
“Effectively, this is Alliance Boots taking over,” Rosenstein said at
the SkyBridge Alternatives Conference in Las Vegas today.
fund company invested $1 billion in Walgreen to become one of the
biggest shareholders of the drugstore chain, Scott Ostfeld, a partner
at Jana, said last month. Walgreen, based in Deerfield,
Illinois, bought 45 percent of Alliance Boots in August 2012,
giving it the option to acquire the rest of Europe’s largest pharmacy
chain within three years. Jana, based in New York, is known for its
campaigns to push companies for change in order to increase
Walgreen (WAG)’s earnings before interest, depreciation and
amortization, or Ebitda, margins are below those of
CVS Caremark (CVS) Corp. and Alliance Boots. The measure of Ebitda
divided by total revenue is one way to compare profitability.
“Something is wrong,” Rosenstein said of Walgreen. He described
Alliance Boots’ executive chairman, Stefano Pessina, as a “great
entrepreneur” he has gotten to know well.
think there is going to be tremendous upside,” Rosenstein said.
contact the reporter on this story: Saijel Kishan in New York at
contact the editors responsible for this story: Christian Baumgaertel
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