DOJ conditionally greenlights $69B CVS-Aetna deal

BY Joe Cooper

Aetna's Hartford headquarters.
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) on Wednesday conditionally greenlit CVS Health's proposed $69 billion acquisition of Hartford health insurer Aetna, moving the deal to its final regulatory hurdles.

Wednesday's approval from DOJ, although expected, is a major milestone as the companies eye completing the deal in the early portion of the fourth quarter. The proposed deal is still subject to state regulatory approvals.

As previously announced, DOJ's approval hinges on Aetna entering into an asset purchase agreement with a subsidiary of WellCare Health Plans Inc. for the divestiture of the insurer's Medicare Part D prescription drug plans. The plan covers about 2.2 million members, officials said. DOJ said the divestiture would "fully resolve" its competitive concerns.

After closing, Aetna will operate as a standalone business under CVS Health and will be overseen by a team of current executives. The management team will be led by President Karen S. Lynch, who will replace current Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini. He will take a seat on CVS' board of directors.

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