About a month after initial rumblings, CVS Health has officially confirmed that it will purchase health insurer Aetna in a deal that’s worth $69 billion. Not only does the sheer dollar amount of this corporate acquisition amount to what many would consider an ungodly sum, but it represents a crossing of the streams for a pharmaceutical retailer and a health insurer. And in a world where the GOP keeps trying and failing to repeal and replace Obamacare, more uncertainty can only lead to more apprehension for consumers.
According to the New York Times, CVS has agreed to purchase Aetna for $207 per share, and $145 per share will be paid in cash. It remains unclear whether Aetna subscribers will be required to fill prescriptions at CVS or use their walk-in clinics. However, there’s no mystery about Amazon’s continued quest for world domination being a motivating factor for this deal happening:
One of the biggest drivers of the deal is Amazon, which has been rumored to be preparing for an entry into the United States’ pharmacy business. Jeff Bezos, the Amazon chief executive, and his e-commerce juggernaut have already overturned many industries: book buying, retail shopping, groceries and Hollywood, using fierce customer loyalty and enormous reach as cudgels against incumbent players.
With that in mind, the leaders of CVS Health and Aetna met several times this year for conversations that eventually turned into negotiations.
Interestingly enough, Amazon scooped up pharmacy wholesale licenses in several states around the same time that the CVS-Aetna acquisition rumors began to fly. How this will all shake out — other than a cage fight — remains to be seen. However and if all shareholders and regulators are fine with this acquisition, CVS will officially seal the deal during the second half of 2018.
(Via New York Times)