Nation & World

CVS, Aetna shareholders back acquisition deal

Purchase valued at $69 billion aims to 'reshape the consumer health care experience'

(Abaca Press/TNS) Shareholders of Aetna and CVS Health on Tuesday offered up their approval of the pharmacy giant’s $69 billion acquisition of Aetna, a health insurer. The deal, announced in December, still must be approved by regulators.
(Abaca Press/TNS) Shareholders of Aetna and CVS Health on Tuesday offered up their approval of the pharmacy giant’s $69 billion acquisition of Aetna, a health insurer. The deal, announced in December, still must be approved by regulators.

HARTFORD, Conn. — Shareholders of Aetna and CVS Health on Tuesday approved the Woonsocket, R.I., pharmacy giant’s $69 billion acquisition of the Hartford health insurer.

The deal, announced in December, still must be approved by regulators.

CVS stockholders voted to approve the shares of company stock to be issued in the deal, CVS said.

If approved by regulators, the deal is expected to close in the second half of the year.

Aetna shareholders would receive $145 in cash and 0.8378 of a CVS Health share for each Aetna share, which was valued at $207.94 on Dec. 1, the Friday before the deal was announced.

“When this merger is complete, the combined company will be well-positioned to reshape the consumer health care experience, putting people at the center of health care delivery to ensure they have access to high-quality, more affordable care where they are, when they need it,” said Larry Merlo, CEO of CVS.

Shares of CVS were down for the day, closing at $68.25, or 1.1 percent lower. Aetna was up a fraction of 1 percent, closing at $177.44.

Leerink Research analyst Ana Gupte said in a client note that winning approval from the U.S. Department of Justice “is likely to be more challenged” following last week’s announcement of another large deal, the purchase by Cigna of Express Scripts Holding for $67 billion.

The CVS-Aetna deal has the potential to reshape the health care industry, possibly making pharmacies a fuller partner with physicians and their patients.

CVS said it will keep Aetna in Hartford, its home since 1853.

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