CVS and Aetna are reportedly nearing a $66 billion deal

  • CVS is very close to buying Aetna, according to The Wall Street Journal.
  • A deal would most likely be valued at $US200 to $US205 per Aetna share, the report said.
  • Aetna’s stock jumped 2% to as high as $US192.37 a share after the report.
  • A merger would help the companies fend off competition from Amazon.

Shares of the retail-pharmacy giant CVS and the health insurer Aetna jumped in trading on Thursday after The Wall Street Journal reported that the two companies were nearing a deal.

CVS was reported in late October to be in talks to buy Aetna in a deal worth about $US66 billion.

According to the latest report, CVS is nearing a majority-cash purchase of Aetna of $US200 to $US205 a share. Aetna’s stock gained 2% on the news to as high as $US192.37 a share. CVS rose by as much as 5%.

Aetna previously agreed to buy its rival insurer Humana for $US34 billion, but the Department of Justice blocked that deal. A judge ruled in favour of the DOJ in January, saying a combination of the two companies would be anticompetitive.

For CVS, the acquisition would be a step toward fending off competition from Amazon, which has been speculated to be interested in the healthcare industry. It would allow the retailer to keep a greater share of each drug sale and to direct more Aetna clients into its stores.

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