Shareholders approve proposed merger between CVS, Aetna

A vast majority of Aetna and CVS Health shareholders on Tuesday voted to approve the companies' proposed merger.

CVS said more than 98% of its shareholders voted to approve the proposed merger. According to the Wall Street Journal, more than 97% of Aetna shareholders voted to approve the proposed deal.

However, the merger still is subject to regulatory approval. Joe Goode, director of corporate public relations for CVS, said, "Both companies continue to cooperate with the Department of Justice staff in its review of the transaction." He added, "Things are progressing as planned and we continue to expect that the transaction will close in the second half of 2018."

If the deal goes through, Aetna shareholders will receive $207 per share in the form of $145 in cash and $62 per share in CVS stock. The combined entity would have roughly $240 billion in annual revenue and would likely be the largest U.S. health insurer and pharmacy benefits manager.

CVS President and CEO Larry Merlo in a statement said, "When this merger is complete, the combined company will be well-positioned to reshape the consumer health care experience, putting people at the center of health care delivery to ensure they have access to high-quality, more affordable care where they are, when they need it" (Al-Muslim, Wall Street Journal, 3/13; Weixel, The Hill, 3/13; Jones Sanborn, Healthcare Finance News, 3/13; LaVito, CNBC, 3/13).

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