Walgreens and the Boots Trojan horse

Meeting of minds

Barry Rosenstein arrived in London with a sense of intrigue. The New Jersey-native hedge fund manager was mainly interested in US-listed companies. But there was something about the man he had come to meet that made the eight-hour transatlantic flight seem worthwhile.

His host was Stefano Pessina, a silver-haired Italian businessman with a passion for deal-making. Rosenstein and his team of analysts at Jana Partners had been studying Pessina for a while and were impressed with his record. Pessina had given up an early academic career to spend the past four decades building up his family’s wholesale drugs business into Alliance Boots, one of the largest companies in the global pharmaceuticals ...

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