CVS Not Expected to Close Aetna Acquisition Until After Thanksgiving

Samara Rosenfeld
NOVEMBER 21, 2018

CVS Health still needs approval from two state regulators before acquiring Aetna.


CVS Health’s acquisition of Aetna has been pushed back to after Thanksgiving, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Since last reported by Healthcare Analytics News™ on Nov. 6, CVS Health has now received 26 of the 28 approvals from state departments of insurance. According to the filing, CVS Health has made significant progress and is in the final stages of the approval process with the final two states.

In anticipation of the closing of the acquisition, CVS Health announced the early appointments of Eva C. Boratto as executive vice president and chief financial officer and James D. Clark as senior vice president and controller and chief accounting officer on Nov. 19, 2018. Boratto and Clark, who previously held other positions with CVS Health, were initially set to be appointed to these positions at the close of the acquisition.

>> READ: AMA Says CVS-Aetna Merger Will Hurt Patients 

The $69 billion transaction cleared a major hurdle this past October when the U.S. Department of Justice approved CVS Health’s purchase of Aetna with conditions that eliminated antitrust concerns among regulators.

Some healthcare observers consider the merger transformative, with the Aetna acquisition set to further CVS Health’s reach in the industry, extending everything from the pharmacy and clinic to health insurance.

Other healthcare observers have spoken against the merger, citing antitrust anxieties, concerns that prodded government regulators to require Aetna to sell standalone Medicare Part D prescription drug plans. Aetna agreed to execute that in a deal with a subsidiary of WellCare Health Plans, but the deal won’t close until the transaction between CVS Health and Aetna is finalized.

Though some oppose to the CVS-Aetna union, a joint press release boasted it as a means to offer better care at lower costs.

“While CVS and Aetna remain separate companies today, the performance of both companies highlights the very solid financial foundation on which we’ll build our revolutionary new model that will transform the healthcare experience for consumers and, in the process, deliver substantial value for our shareholders,” Larry Merlo, CVS Health president and CEO, said in a statement.

CVS Health declined further comment.

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