Walgreens Co. (NYSE: WAG), the largest U.S. drugstore chain, said Tuesday it will pay $6.7 billion in cash and stock for a 45 percent stake in Alliance Boots GmbH, a large Swiss-based health and beauty product company.

Deerfield, Ill.-based Walgreens will have the option in three years to buy the remaining 55 percent of Alliance Boots, which operates more than 3,330 stores in 25 countries.