Amerisource shares jump on Walgreens buyout report


NEW YORK (AP) — Shares of AmerisourceBergen soared before the opening bell Tuesday on reports that Walgreens is pursuing a complete takeover of the huge drug distributor.

The Wall Street Journal reported late Monday that Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. reached out to AmerisourceBergen Corp. about a potential deal several weeks ago. The paper, citing anonymous sources, said no offer is on the table.

Walgreens already owns about 26 percent of the company, according to data provider FactSet.

AmerisourceBergen Corp. jumped more than 13 percent, to $101.49 in premarket trading.

Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. runs more than 13,200 stores in 11 countries, and is the largest U.S. drugstore chain. Last September, it said it would spend $4.38 billion to buy nearly 2,000 Rite Aid stores and some distribution centers and inventory.

Adding the rest of AmerisourceBergen would give the company a tighter grip on its supply chain. Walgreens is facing increased competition both from inside the sector and potentially imposing new rivals like Amazon.com Inc.

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