Are Walgreen’s Whale Sized Shareholders Cautious About the European Acquisition?

After almost 6 months of trading in 2012, Walgreen Co.’s (NYSE:WAG) shares are down 11.58 percent. On Wednesday, the company said will buy nearly half of the European pharmacy Alliance Boots GmbH for $6.7 billion with the hopes of a European expansion, reported the Wall Street Journal. Combined the companies will operate 11,000 stores in the U.S., Europe and Asia, under both names.

At first, Walgreen will have a 45 percent stake in Alliance Boots but has an option to purchase the entire company prior to 2016.

With the news of the transaction and the opportunity to expand overseas, will Walgreen’s largest shareholders increase their holdings? 1078 institutional firms indicated owning shares of Walgreen Co. (NYSE:WAG) in Q1 2012. These firms reported owning a total of 601.086 million shares on 03/31/2012. The shares closed at $33.26 on 03/31/2012.

Here are the ten largest positions in Walgreen Co. at the end of March 31st, 2012.

Vanguard Group Inc held 43,023,620 shares on 03/31/2012 worth $1,440,861,106. This brought the portfolio total to 0.19%.

State Street Corp held 38,550,119 shares on 03/31/2012 worth $1,291,043,550. This brought the portfolio total to 0.2%.

Massachusetts Financial Services Co /MA/ held 24,765,051 shares on 03/31/2012 worth $829,381,600. This brought the portfolio total to 0.78%.

Blackrock Institutional Trust Company N.A. held 23,284,558 shares on 03/31/2012 worth $779,799,887. This brought the portfolio total to 0.18%.

Wellington Management Co LLP held 18,276,751 shares on 03/31/2012 worth $612,088,422. This brought the portfolio total to 0.22%.

Orbis Holdings Ltd held 15,853,745 shares on 03/31/2012 worth $530,941,947. This brought the portfolio total to 4.99%.

FMR LLC held 14,560,771 shares on 03/31/2012 worth $487,640,245. This brought the portfolio total to 0.09%.

Northern Trust Corp held 12,230,507 shares on 03/31/2012 worth $409,599,700. This brought the portfolio total to 0.19%.

Invesco Ltd. held 9,884,761 shares on 03/31/2012 worth $331,040,662. This brought the portfolio total to 0.17%.

Barrow Hanley Mewhinney & Strauss LLC held 9,571,496 shares on 03/31/2012 worth $320,549,417. This brought the portfolio total to 0.63%.

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