Walgreens is reportedly considering taking itself private and the stock is surging

Courtesy WalgreensWalgreens CEO Stefano Pessina.

Walgreens is considering going private, Bloomberg and Reuters reported Tuesday.

The company, which has a market cap of $US57 billion, has held talks with private equity firms, Bloomberg and Reuters reported. Reuters reports the company has hired on Evercore Partners to explore the potential for a deal.

A spokesman for Walgreens declined to comment.

The pharmacy giant’s stock jumped 6% on Tuesday on the news. Even after the surge, the stock is down about 20% over the past 12 months.

Walgreens CEO Stefano Pessina owns 16% of the company, according to Bloomberg.

Walgreens, which operates roughly 9,300 pharmacies, has been striking up partnerships with grocery stores, health plans, beauty subscription boxes, and tech giants Microsoft and Alphabet, with the hope of finding new ways to make use of its drugstores.

The partnerships strategy has drawn scepticism from investors, however, because they fall short of the big transactions pursued by the company’s rivals and are slow to add profits to the company’s bottom line.

In October, the company also announced its plans to stop operating its own health clinics, instead working with health system partners to operate them.

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