Pharmacy giant CVS Health has agreed to buy Aetna in a $69 billion blockbuster acquisition that could rein in healthcare costs and transform its 9,700 pharmacy storefronts into community medical hubs for primary care and basic procedures, people familiar with the deal said Sunday.
The pharmacy chain agreed to buy Aetna for about $207 per share, broken down into $145 in cash and the rest in stock, according to those sources. The deal is expected to close in the second half of 2018, subject to approval by shareholders and regulators.
If approved, the mega-merger would create a giant healthcare company, allowing CVS to provide a broad range of health services to Aetna?s 22 million medical members at its nationwide network of pharmacies and walk-in clinics, and further decrease the drug store titan’s reliance on the retail sales that have faced increasing competition.
And the deal is likely to set off even more mergers in the health-care industry, which has been undergoing consolidation and faces potential new competition from Amazon . It will also position Aetna to be more competitive with UnitedHealth Group, an insurer that has already strayed outside the typical boundaries, with a large and growing business in pharmacy care services, clinics and surgery care centers and healthcare data.