CVS pushes into insurance with $69 billion Aetna bid

CVS pushes into insurance with $69 billion Aetna bid

CVS will purchase insurance coverage big Aetna in a roughly $69 billion deal that may assist the pharmacy chain attain deeper into buyer well being care and shield a key consumer, an individual with data of the matter stated Sunday.

CVS Well being Corp. can pay about $207 in money and inventory for every share of Aetna Inc., in response to the individual, who spoke on situation of anonymity as a result of the deal has not been introduced publicly. That represents a 29 % premium to the worth of Aetna shares on Oct. 25, the day earlier than The Wall Avenue Journal first reported about the opportunity of a deal.
The mammoth acquisition pairs an organization that runs greater than 9,700 drugstores and 1,100 walk-in clinics with an insurer overlaying round 22 million individuals. CVS Well being Corp. can also be one of many nation’s largest pharmacy profit managers, processing greater than a billion prescriptions a 12 months for insurance coverage firms, together with Aetna.
The businesses deliberate a Monday morning convention name to debate the deal.
The deal’s affect on prescription drug costs is unsure. Aetna prospects may first see some modifications in how their plans are managed. Over time, a bulked-up CVS could acquire extra negotiating leverage over costs, however it’s tough to say how a lot would trickle right down to prospects.
The deal may assist feed a gentle stream of consumers to CVS shops, a lot of which now supply a rising menu of medical companies along with the standard fare of prescriptions and chilly and cough provides.
As well as, it may push CVS to develop into extra of a one-stop-shop for well being care, a spot the place sufferers can get blood drawn, then see a nurse practitioner and choose up prescriptions.
“If you consider it, we really do not have something like that,” Jefferies analyst Brian Tanquilut stated just lately.
CVS Well being began including clinics to its drugstores years in the past and has been increasing the companies they provide. Prospects can get physicals, flu photographs or remedies for sinus infections on the clinics. In addition they can obtain ldl cholesterol screenings or discover assist monitoring continual circumstances like diabetes.
Analysts say clinics aren’t particularly worthwhile, however they’re necessary as a result of they draw individuals into the shops and assist construct deeper buyer relationships.
The clinics additionally present companies that may’t be bought on-line. Like different retailers, drugstores are struggling to carry onto prospects who’re shopping for extra items by retailers corresponding to Amazon.
By increasing its medical companies, CVS would primarily be “changing aisles and merchandise with companies,” Tanquilut famous.
He and others on Wall Avenue count on the Aetna deal to gasoline a well being care companies enlargement for CVS. The corporate may open extra clinics or add companies corresponding to eye care or listening to assist facilities.
The deal additionally will assist CVS maintain Aeta’s enterprise managing the insurer’s pharmacy advantages. That might maintain thousands and thousands of consumers away from Amazon if the retail big decides to develop into pharmaceuticals. Traders have been frightened about that prospect since studies concerning the risk first appeared earlier this 12 months. Amazon has not commented on the chance.
CVS additionally has to fret about competitors from UnitedHealth Group Inc. The nation’s largest well being insurer additionally manages a big pharmacy advantages enterprise, and it runs physician practices and clinics.
Antitrust regulators nonetheless have to approve the deal, and that’s not assure.
The Justice Division stated final month that it’s suing AT&T to cease its $85 billion buy of Time Warner. Regulators additionally sued to cease the Aetna’s roughly $34 billion buy of rival Humana Inc. — a deal that fell aside earlier this 12 months.
Hartford, Connecticut-based Aetna and Woonsocket, Rhode Island-based CVS each handle Medicare prescription drug protection. A few of that enterprise could should be bought to handle antitrust considerations. However in any other case, Leerink analyst David Larsen thinks a CVS-Aetna mixture has first rate odds of getting previous regulators, partially as a result of the companies have little overlap.
“We additionally consider that the Trump administration is extra business-friendly, and regulators could view a CVS/(Aetna) mixture as a approach to proceed to place strain on producers and drug costs,” he stated in a latest analysis observe

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