Day: November 6, 2019

It provides Democrats with a valuable piece of evidence

Walgreens Boots could go private for $70 billion

The global drugstore group has reportedly been exploring the possibility of a take-private deal, according to Bloomberg, in what it says would be the “largest leveraged buyout in history.”

“The company has recently held informal talks with private equity firms including KKR,” Bloomberg reports, citing unidentified sources. Walgreens Boots shares rose 3.1 percent yesterday on the news.

“Some of the buyout firms have so far shown reluctance to participate in a deal,” it adds. That is in no small part due to the size of the transaction: Walgreens Boots has a market value of about $55 billion and $16.8 billion of debt, so a take-private deal would be bigger than the current largest leveraged buyout — the sale of the utility TXU to KKR and TPG — which was worth about $45 billion including debt.

A buyout would relieve the company of the pressure of quarterly reporting and give it some breathing room to cut costs and introduce changes that could help it adapt to a world in which discount stores and e-commerce sites like Amazon have eaten much of its lunch.Ambassador describes a quid pro quo with Ukraine

Gordon Sondland, the American ambassador to the E.U. and a crucial witness in the Trump impeachment inquiry, recounted to investigators yesterday that he had told a Ukrainian official that military aid was tied to a public commitment of the investigations President Trump wanted, Michael S. Schmidt writes in the NYT.

Mr. Sondland’s disclosure directly contradicted his testimony last month, when he said he had “never” thought there was any precondition to the aid. “I said that resumption of the U.S. aid would likely not occur until Ukraine provided the public anticorruption statement that we had been discussing for many weeks,” Mr. Sondland said in the new statement.

The updated testimony confirmed Mr. Sondland’s role in laying out a quid pro quo to Ukraine that conditioned the release of U.S. aid on the country’s willingness to say it was investigating Joe Biden, a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination.

It provides Democrats with a valuable piece of evidence. Unlike other officials who have offered damaging testimony about Mr. Trump, Mr. Sondland is a political supporter of the president who has interacted directly with him.

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