CVS Health to buy Aetna?


US drugstore chain CVS Health has announced that it will be purchasing health insurance company Aetna in a $69 billion deal, according to an Associated Press source, although the deal has not yet been announced publicly.

According to the unnamed source, the deal could make CVS a one-stop-shop for healthcare, as it would bring together CVS Health’s 9,700 shops and 1,100 walk-in clinics with Aetna’s 22 million customers.

Last year CVS Health started to expand its services, opening walk-in clinics which allowed customers to get physicals, flu shots and treatment for sinus infections. UK newspaper The Guardian reports that these clinics are not hugely profitable, but mean customers are more likely to come in-store.

Jefferies analyst Brian Tanquilut believes that the deal with Aetna will help CVS Health to open more clinics, and possibly add new services – such as eye care or hearing aid centres. It could also help CVS keep Aetna’s business managing the insurer’s pharmacy benefits.

The deal still has to be approved by antitrust regulators.