CVS-Aetna merger gets justice department approval


CVS-Aetna merger gets justice department approval


CVS Health has received approval from the US Department of Justice (DOJ) to proceed with its proposed $69 billion acquisition of Aetna.

The transaction is now expected to close in the early part of Q4 2018. Upon closing, Aetna will operate as a standalone business within the CVS Health enterprise and will be led by members of its current management team.

Aetna earlier announced that it is divesting its entire standalone Medicare Part D business, which have an aggregate of approximately 2.2 million members, to a subsidiary of WellCare Health Plans. Aetna will continue to administer and provide service/support for the impacted plans throughout the 2019 benefit year.

"DOJ clearance is an important step toward bringing together the strengths and capabilities of our two companies to improve the consumer health care experience," said CVS Health president and chief executive officer Larry Merlo. "We are pleased to have reached an agreement with the DOJ that maintains the strategic benefits and value creation potential of our combination with Aetna. We are now working to complete the remaining state reviews."

Merlo added: "CVS Health and Aetna have the opportunity to combine capabilities in technology, data and analytics to develop new ways to engage patients in their total health and wellness. Our focus will be at the local and community level, taking advantage of our thousands of locations and touchpoints throughout the country to intervene with consumers to help predict and prevent potential health problems before they occur. Together, we will help address the challenges our health care system is facing, and we'll be able to offer better care and convenience at a lower cost for patients and payors."

Aetna, CVS, M&A, Larry Merlo, US