CVS-Aetna deal clears major hurdle

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Thursday, October 11, 2018

WOONSOCKET, R.I. – The U.S. Department of Justice on Wednesday approved the $69 billion merger between CVS Health and Aetna.

The deal, which is expected to be finalized in the fourth quarter of 2018, is still subject to state regulatory approvals, many of which have been granted, according to a press release.

"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 CEO 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."

The deal, first announced in December 2017, has been touted by the companies as a way to increase customer access and create a more personalized healthcare experience. CVS currently operates more than 9,700 pharmacy locations and 1,100 MinuteClinic walk-in clinics.

Following the close of the transaction, Aetna will operate as a standalone business within the CVS Health enterprise and will be led by members of its current management team.