Drugstore chain CVS Health has agreed to acquire medical insurer Aetna in a transaction valued at approximately $69bn, payable in a combination of cash and stock.

For each Aetna share, its shareholders will receive $145 in cash and 0.8378 CVS Health shares. The overall cost of the transaction will hit to $77bn with the assumption of Aetna’s debt.

Commenting on the agreement, CVS Health president and CEO Larry Merlo said: “This combination brings together the expertise of two great companies to remake the consumer health care experience. With the analytics of Aetna and CVS Health’s human touch, we will create a health care platform built around individuals.

“We look forward to working with the talented people at Aetna to position the combined company as America’s front door to quality health care, integrating more closely the work of doctors, pharmacists, other health care professionals and health benefits companies to create a platform that is easier to use and less expensive for consumers.”

Upon completion of the transaction in the second half of 2018, Aetna shareholders will own nearly 22% of the combined company while CVS Health shareholders will own approximately 78% stake.

Transaction is subject to approval by CVS Health and Aetna shareholders, regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.

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