CVS’ planned acquisition of Aetna could be a healthcare game changer
CVS (NYSE: CVS) announced it intends to purchase health insurance giant Aetna (NYSE: AET) for $69 billion and the assumption of Aetna’s debt, bringing the total acquisition value to $77 billion. The transaction, if approved by antitrust regulators, would create a company with over $240 billion in annual sales and represent the single-largest consolidation of health plan and retail pharmacy operations in history. Industry observers have noted the merger would result in a corporate entity surpassed only by corporate giants such as Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) in terms of U.S.-based revenue (Wal-Mart generated nearly $300 billion in revenue in its U.S. operations in 2016, and may yet make a similar healthcare-related acquisition. The proposed acquisition would be the largest involving a health insurance company in history. Despite each company hailing from different industries, antitrust watchdogs are still expected to be very involved in reviewing the proposed union.