Shareholders of CVS Health (Woonsocket, R.I.) and Aetna (Hartford, Conn.) will vote today on whether the $69 billion cash and stock merger deal should go through. The acquisition deal was first announced in December, but it must first be approved by shareholders and the U.S. Department of Justice.
The deal represents a new strategy in healthcare retail that aims to enable the retailer to blur the lines between the insurance and retail businesses to hopefully lower costs, according to CNBC. Since news of the CVS-Aetna deal, news emerged from other retailers looking to make similar moves: Albertsons is to acquire Rite Aid; Walgreens to acquire drug distributor AmerisourceBergen; Cigna to acquire Express Scripts; and Amazon is reportedly readying for such a deal.
If shareholders approve the merger, the DOJ will be next to make a decision on the deal. The agency requested more information on the deal last month, and their evaluation is expected to go into the second half of the year.