American health and retail giant CVS (NYSE:CVS) is reportedly in talks to buy Aetna (NYSE:AET), one of the nation’s largest health insurers.
Continue Reading Below
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.”
|CVS||CVS HEALTH CORPORATION||65.71||+0.75||+1.15%|
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.
“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.