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Walgreen Pressured to Up Buyback as Activist Wins Seats

Walgreen Co. will be pressured to boost a $3 billion share buyback that disappointed investors last month after activist hedge fund Jana Partners LLC struck a deal yesterday on three board seats at the U.S. drugstore chain, said a person familiar with the matter.

Jana will use the positions to push for more of Walgreen’s capital to be put toward repurchases, said the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the discussions are private. The settlement, which immediately added Jana founder Barry Rosenstein to the board, comes after Walgreen last month agreed to buy the rest of European health and beauty chain Alliance Boots GmbH for $15.3 billion.