Walgreen shareholders give blessing to Alliance Boots deal

AP News
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Posted: Dec 29, 2014 10:32 AM

Walgreen shareholders have voted in favor of the nation's largest drugstore chain spending nearly $16 billion to complete the final step in its purchase of European health and beauty retailer Alliance Boots.

Walgreen says about 97 percent of the votes cast at a special shareholder meeting Monday went for the deal. That represents about 73 percent of the company's outstanding stock.

Walgreen bought a 45 percent stake in Alliance Boots, which runs the United Kingdom's largest pharmacy chain, in 2012 for about $6.7 billion in cash and stock. The Deerfield, Illinois, company then said in August that it would buy the remaining stake.

The deal is expected to close Wednesday. The combined company will be called Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc.

Walgreen Co. shares are climbing in morning trading.