If approved, the $69 billion acquisition -- $77 billion including debt -- would drastically remap the health care industry. CVS Health (CVS)is a massive drugstore chain and prescription drug insurer, while Aetna (AET) is one of the nation's largest health insurers. It would also go down as the largest health insurance deal in history, far exceeding Express Scripts (ESRX)' $29 billion acquisition of Medco in 2012, the last record-holder. The acquisition is not a done deal. It will have to be approved by antitrust regulators, who have been skeptical of similar health care mergers.
Buying Aetna puts CVS in a better position to compete with other integrated health care providers, such as UnitedHealthcare (UNH) and pharmacy benefits manager Optum. PBMs like Optum and CVS's Caremark help manage prescription drug plans for commercial health insurers.
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