Deerfield, IL-based Walgreen Co. is moving forward with its $5.27 billion in cash full acquisition of UK drugstore retailer Alliance Boots, but is keeping its headquarters in the U.S., the company reported Tuesday.
The company, the largest drugstore retailer in the U.S., considered moving overseas to escape millions of dollars in taxes.
But the company’s board couldn’t come up with a structure that would pass muster with the Internal Revenue Service, plus the move would require major changes to its deal with Alliance Boots, the company said.
The idea of making a so-called “tax inversion” has garnered criticism from many quarters, including public opinion, some investors, and lawmakers, and in Walgreens' case, many leaders in Chicago. President Barack Obama recently framed the issue as a patriotic one. Although he said the administration could do little about it without action from Congress, the U.S. Treasury Department is exploring how to make tax inversion less attractive to U.S. companies by stripping away tax advantages for those that move overseas.