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CVS Health and Aetna stockholders have voted to approved the merger of the two health care giants.
CVS agreed in December to buy Aetna for $69 billion in combination of cash and stock.
The two companies held a special meeting on March 13 for shareholders to vote. According to the preliminary results, more than 98 percent of CVS shareholders' votes and 97 percent of Aetna shareholders' votes were in favor of the proposal.
If approved by the regulators, the merger is expected to close in the second half of 2018, CVS said.
Aetna shareholders will receive $145 in cash and 0.8378 of a CVS Health share for each Aetna share, which was valued at $207.94 in the aggregate based on the closing price of CVS Health stock on Dec. 1.
"When this merger is complete, the combined company will be well-positioned to reshape the consumer health care experience, putting people at the center of health care delivery to ensure they have access to high-quality, more affordable care where they are, when they need it," said Larry Merlo, CVS Health president and CEO.
Merlo added that "the merger, once complete, will fill an unmet need in the US. health care system and presents a unique opportunity to redefine access to high-quality care in lower cost settings, whether in the community, in the home, or on the go through connected digital health care tools.
"The combination of CVS Health and Aetna brings together two complementary businesses with an expanded set of unique capabilities to create a new community-based open health care model that is easier to use and less expensive for consumers. We look forward to delivering more seamlessly coordinated care that ensures consumers have the essential resources to lead healthier lives for themselves and their families."
"At the same time, our company will benefit from a stronger market position, with the potential to deliver increased value through the development of innovative new products and services and generate long-term growth opportunities that help produce stronger, more consistent results for shareholders as a uniquely integrated health care company," Merlo concluded.
CVS, Aetna, M&A, Merger & Acquisition, Larry Merlo, US