CVS pharmacies fund $69 billion mega-merger to prepare for Amazon’s arrival in the healthcare industry
The American pharmacies chain CVS Health has made the acquisition of Aetna, specializing in health insurance, for 69 billion dollars (about 58 billion euros).
It is the most important merger of the year in the United States.
CVS holds 10,000 of the 18,000 drugstores in the United States.
At the end of the transaction, Aetna’s shareholders will hold 22% of the new entity, with the remaining share capital owned by CVS shareholders. Three Aetna directors, including CEO Mark Bertolini, will join the CVS Board of Directors.
Health insurers and pharmacy networks in the United States are pushed to get closer because of a multitude of factors, from the generalization of the health insurance provided by Obamacare to rising drug prices.
But there is one factor that is of greater concern to players in this market: the threatening competition of online retailers – and above all that of Amazon.
Jeff Bezos’ company has just been granted wholesale licenses by the official pharmacy supervision bodies, recalls Le Monde.
CVS and Aetna are counting on $ 750 million in synergies in the second full year of their merger, which they hope to close in the second half of next year.
In the meanwhile, CVS Pharmacies look forward to improve its products and services by receiving feedback and suggestion from its customers through CVS Customer Satisfaction Survey. Upon completion of the survey, CVS Pharmacies giving $1,000 cash prize through a monthly lucky draw, writes source.
“When you go to CVS, you have the pharmacy, and if there was a center of ophthalmology and audiology, and perhaps a nutritionist, or even a kind of care manager”, says the CEO of CVS Health, Larry Merlo, in an official statement.
Four competition experts questioned by Reuters are very likely to get a green light from the competition authorities even though the Justice Department has been more cautious lately with regard to vertical mergers, in which companies are not direct competition and operate at different levels of the production chain.
He filed a complaint last month to try to block the $85.4 billion buyout of the Time Warner media and entertainment group in October 2016 by telecom operator AT&T, an operation he believes will reduce consumer choices in terms of content available.