CVS now expects Aetna acquisition to close after Thanksgiving

  • CVS Health now anticipates its $69 billion acquisition of health insurer Aetna to close after Thanksgiving.
  • CVS CEO Larry Merlo earlier this month said he expected the deal to close before the holiday.
Larry Merlo, CEO of CVS and Mark Bertolini, CEO of AETNA appear on Squawk Box on Dec. 4th, 2017.
Cameron Costa | CNBC
Larry Merlo, CEO of CVS and Mark Bertolini, CEO of AETNA appear on Squawk Box on Dec. 4th, 2017.

CVS Health now anticipates its $69 billion acquisition of health insurer Aetna to close after Thanksgiving, the company said Tuesday in a regulatory filing. Executives earlier this month said they expected the deal to close before the holiday.

The company has received approval from 26 of the 28 state departments of insurance it needs to close the deal, CVS said in the filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The filing said CVS has made "significant progress" in the approval process and is in "the final stages" with the remaining two states.

On a Nov. 6 call with Wall Street analysts to discuss third-quarter earnings results, CEO Larry Merlo said state approvals of the deal were on track to allow the companies to close before Thanksgiving.

Shares of CVS dipped about 3 percent Tuesday.

The companies announced the deal last December. The Department of Justice granted preliminary approval in October. CVS said Aetna would sell its Medicare Part D drug plan business to WellCare Health Plans for an undisclosed amount to ease concerns about the overlap between CVS' and Aetna's Medicare Part D plans.

Tuesday was outgoing Chief Financial Officer David Denton's first day at home improvement retailer Lowe's. He was slated to make the move after the CVS-Aetna deal closed. Eva Boratto has replaced Denton at CVS.

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