CVS reportedly in talks to buy Aetna

Illustration
       FactSet

Illustration FactSet

Rumors of a blockbuster deal in which CVS Health would acquire Aetna circulated late Thursday, driving shares of Aetna up 12.7% to $180.48 per share.

The rumored deal, first reported by The Wall Street Journal, would reportedly involve CVS paying more than $200 per share for Aetna.

Aetna Chief Executive Officer Mark Bertolini has talked in the past about deepening the insurer's relationship with CVS, and relying on the company to deliver some types of care to the insurer's customers or provide them with medical equipment.


After news broke of the potential CVS-Aetna deal, the insurer's stock jumped. The price tag would be well above the insurer megamergers which fell apart earlier in 2017: the $54 billion acquisition of Cigna by Anthem and Aetna's own $37 billion deal to buy Humana. The deal would be worth about $66 billion, according to the report. A judge ruled in favor of the DOJ in January, saying that the combination of the two companies would have been anticompetitive. Aetna had declined similar requests for comment, according to reports.

Aetna shares vaulted 11.5% to close at 178.60 on the stock market today. The two megamergers would have reduced the ranks of big USA health insurers from five to three, a prospect that led the Justice Department to oppose both.

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