More NewsPensions Adviser Opposes Walgreens Swiss Move

Pensions Adviser Opposes Walgreens Swiss Move

A major US pension adviser has written to regulators asking them to investigate plans by Walgreens, the country’s biggest pharmacy chain plans to transfer its tax base from the US to Switzerland as part of its takeover of European peer Alliance Boots.

The CtW Investment Group, which represents union pension funds holding $250bn (£146bn) in investments, asked the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) investigate an apparent violation of a rule designed to prevent disclosure of material inside information to favoured groups.

According to the complaint, Walgreens executives held private meetings with analysts and hedge funds in which they discussed potentially restructuring the company’s planned Alliance Boots acquisition. This would involve a so-called tax inversion, enabling the group to move its headquarters and avoid the US’s higher corporate tax rate.

Walgreens is reportedly to be considering the inversion to lower its tax rate and save an estimated US$783m in the first year after the inversion.

“We are deeply troubled that Walgreens may have put the vast majority of its investors at a disadvantage while positioning influential hedge funds to profit from material, non-public information,” said Michael Pryce-Jones, CtW’s senior governance researcher.

“The issues described in the complaint raise broader concerns about management’s accountability to shareholders at a time when a major strategic transformation is on the table.”

Walgreens’ planned comes amid a growing political controversy in the US sparked by drug firm Pfizer’s ultimately unsuccessful bid for the UK’s AstraZeneca and AbbVie’s current bid for the UK’s Shire.

Related Articles

Infosys Finacle to power Santander UK’s international cash management system

More News Infosys Finacle to power Santander UK’s international cash management system

3w The Global Treasurer
Preparing for GDPR? Here’s four things to consider

More News Preparing for GDPR? Here’s four things to consider

4m Elliott Wiseman
Cash flow in focus for investors

Cash Management Cash flow in focus for investors

5m Conor Deegan
Treasury TV: Karen Pugsley, Domino's Pizza Group

More News Treasury TV: Karen Pugsley, Domino's Pizza Group

5m Victoria Beckett
Treasury TV: Yeng Butler compares US and European MMF reforms

Compliance Treasury TV: Yeng Butler compares US and European MMF reforms

5m Victoria Beckett
Treasury TV: Tim de Knegt, The Port of Rotterdam

10 Minutes With The Treasury Treasury TV: Tim de Knegt, The Port of Rotterdam

5m Victoria Beckett
Banks are selling clients short with short dated cash deposit U-turns

Banking Banks are selling clients short with short dated cash deposit U-turns

5m Victoria Beckett
What does sterling’s Brexit boost mean for UK manufacturers?

More News What does sterling’s Brexit boost mean for UK manufacturers?

6m Tasja Botha