Walgreen (WAG) Abandons Plan to Move Overseas
Great expectations … no more. Plans for three big business deals have been shelved.
The Walgreen Company plans to keep its roots firmly planted in the United States, saying it will no longer pursue an overseas reorganization - a politically touchy move that would have trimmed the amount of U.S. taxes it pays.
The largest drugstore chain says it will buy the remaining stake in the Alliance Boots that it does not already own, but it will not pull off an inversion with the Swiss health and beauty retailer.
Walgreens says it is not in the best long-term interest of its shareholders to re-domicile outside the United States. The company's pre-market share price dropped nearly 5 percent after the announcement.
The Obama administration is looking at ways to prevent American companies from reincorporating overseas to shirk U.S. taxes, without requiring new laws from Congress.
President Obama has denounced "tax inversions" as unpatriotic and has urged Congress to stop them. But Republicans and Democrats disagree about the best solution, making congressional action this year unlikely. The Treasury Department says it's reviewing a broad range of potential actions.
Connection Lost: Sprint, T-Mobile End Merger Plan
Shares of Sprint and T-Mobile US have fallen sharply after a published report said Sprint was ending its pursuit of a merger of the two cellphone carriers.
print shares plunged 15 percent while T-Mobile dropped 9 percent after The Wall Street Journal said Sprint decided it would be too difficult to convince regulators to approve the merger of the No. 3 and No. 4 providers.
Curtain Falls on Fox Bid for Time Warner
Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox is abandoning its attempt to take over Time Warner in a proposed deal that would have combined two of the world's biggest media companies.
The about-face came three weeks after Time Warner said it rejected a $76 billion buyout offer. There had been hopes that 21st Century Fox, which owns the 20th Century Fox movie studio, Fox broadcast network, and TV channels Fox News and FX, might raise its original cash-and-stock offer bid of roughly $86 per share to as much as $100 per share to win over Time Warner.
Time Warner shares dropped more than 12 percent after the announcement. 21st Century Fox shares rose 6 percent.
Push for Emission Rule
Residents living near oil refineries and environmental activists want Environmental Protection Agency to adopt stricter emissions standards to reduce communities' exposure to a cancer-causing chemical.
Dozens of people addressed the federal agency during a hearing in suburban Houston about a proposal that would compel refineries for the first time to monitor and report emissions of benzene. The meeting was in response to a suit filed by Earthjustice and the Environmental Integrity Project on behalf of communities near oil refineries.
The suit argued that the EPA was more than a decade late in reviewing and updating toxic air standards for refineries. The federal agency has until April 2015 to issue a final rule.