In a stunning scoop published minutes before the close, WSJ reports CVS Health is in talks to buy Aetna, a defensive acquisition that may help the company fend off Amazon should the e-commerce giant follow through on flirtations with the pharmacy business. Shortly before WSJ published its report, CVS and other pharmacy stocks tumbled to their lows of the day on reports Amazon has been quietly obtaining wholesale pharmacy licenses.
Earlier this week, Aetna said it would sell its group life and disability business to The Hartford Group for $1.45 billion in cash. Aetna recently moved its headquarters from Hartford, Conn., where the company was founded more than 150 years ago, to New York City. CVS reportedly offered to pay more than $200 a share vs. Aetna’s market price of $178.60. Aetna has a $60 billion market capitalization. Aetna shares soared more than 10% on the news, while CVS shares pared their earlier drop, but moved lower again into the close. Managed-care stocks also jumped on the news.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 26, 2017.