NEW YORK – Pharmacy and variety store chain CVS has agreed to buy health insurer Aetna for $69 billion, The Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday.
Aetna stockholders will receive $207 per share, $145 in cash and $62 in share value, the paper said, citing sources familiar with the agreement, which has been under negotiation for months.
The purchase, one of the biggest such deals this year in the US, will unite two of the country’s health industry giants. CVS has annual income of $178 billion and Aetna, the third-largest US insurer with 22.2 million customers, brings in $63 billion.
As part of the agreement, CVS plans to use its roughly 10,000 stores to offer more service options to its customers.
The acquisition of Aetna will provide the pharmacy firm with more possibilities to negotiate good prices for medications that it sells by prescription and the insurer will be able to offer cheaper co-payments, CNBC reported.
According to The New York Times, the operation comes in response to the rumored entry of Amazon into the pharmaceutical business, given that the tech behemoth has obtained sales licenses for retail pharmacy products in at least 12 states.
At the beginning of this year, Aetna had to cancel its merger plans with another insurer, Humana, because of legal impediments.