CVS closes $70 billion Aetna deal, ending long road to takeover

(Bloomberg) – CVS Health has closed its $70 billion deal to buy health insurer Aetna, ending months of reviews by state and federal regulators.

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CVS Health Corp. signage is displayed outside a store in downtown Los Angeles, California, U.S., on Friday, Oct. 27, 2017. Photographer: Christopher Lee/Bloomberg

The companies announced the takeover almost a year ago in December 2017, promising to create an integrated health-care company whose pharmacy locations could be hubs for medical services while better managing patients.

Key insights

The goals of the deal -- better-managed care, new points of access to the medical system, healthier communities -- are extremely ambitious. Now the companies have to prove that they can actually achieve them in what’s likely to be an extremely complex merger. CVS said it will quickly start rolling out of products to do that: managing patients with chronic diseases, more services at in-store clinics, screenings, and offerings like nutrition counseling and digital health apps. If it works, the deal is likely to have long-term effects around the rest of healthcare, forcing investors and executives to ask whether companies that offer administrative services, distribution or act as middlemen should be independent.

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