CVS Health in talks to buy Aetna: Report

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Aetna shares spiking amid rumors of a buyout by CVS

FBN's Liz Claman discusses reports that CVS is interested in buying out health insurance giant Aetna.

American health and retail giant CVS (CVS) is reportedly in talks to buy Aetna (AET), one of the nation’s largest health insurers.

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The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday that CVS proposed to buy Aetna, which has a market cap of $53 billion, for more than $200 per share. That would value Aetna at $66 billion, or higher.

Shares of Aetna were trading at all-time highs after the news broke on Thursday afternoon. The stock closed more than 11% higher, at $178.60.

CVS' bid was reportedly made earlier this month, although the two companies have supposedly been discussing a potential deal for two months.

When contacted by FOX Business, an Aetna spokesperson declined to chime in on the reports, saying the company doesn’t “comment on rumors or speculation.”

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Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini has been a vocal critic of Obamacare. Last May, Aetna committed to completely exiting the ObamaCare marketplace in 2018, citing exorbitant costs.

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“Our individual commercial products lost nearly $700 million between 2014 and 2016, and are projected to lose more than $200 million in 2017 despite a significant reduction in membership. Those losses are the result of marketplace structural issues that have led to co-op failures and carrier exits, and subsequent risk pool deterioration,” the company said in a statement at the time.

Meanwhile, President Donald Trump applauded CVS during a press briefing on Thursday for its efforts to limit certain first-time opioid prescriptions to seven-day supplies.