Walgreens Builds Stake in Drug Wholesaler

CHICAGO (Chicago Tribune/TNS) -

Walgreens is strengthening its relationship with AmerisourceBergen, the drug wholesaler that supplies its stores, spending $1.2 billion to purchase a 15 percent stake in the Pennsylvania-based company.

Walgreens Boots Alliance, based in suburban Chicago, entered a 10-year deal with AmerisourceBergen in 2013 and started building its stake in the company at the same time. It has options to purchase another 10 percent next year.

Walgreens has more than 13,000 stores in 11 countries and is awaiting federal antitrust approval of its purchase last year of Rite Aid pharmacies.

In trading Friday, AmerisourceBergen stock rose $1.60, or 1.9 percent, to $87.48, and Walgreens stock rose 64 cents, or 0.8 percent, to $83.94.