Nov 8, 2019

Stefano Pessina: the dealmaker eyeing the world’s largest buyout

Stefano Pessina, the dealmaker who transformed a failing Naples drug wholesaler into a global pharmacy empire, has once before escaped the tyranny of the stock market. When the Italian-born billionaire teamed up with KKR to buy Alliance Boots for £11bn in 2007, he had to win assent for Britain's biggest ever management buyout and the first private equity-backed takeover of a FTSE 100 company. The mooted $70bn take-private of Walgreens Boots Alliance, which Mr Pessina runs and has a 16 per cent stake in, would smash records set a decade ago in the pre-crisis boom. With KKR, Mr Pessina, then Alliance Boots' executive deputy chairman, proposed to take the company private in 2007. Today, Mr Pessina is chief executive of Nasdaq-listed Walgreens Boots Alliance, a company created when he sold his European business to the American chain five years ago.

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