CVS and CVS-Mobile Corp. have signed an agreement to buy rival Anthem Inc. for $9.5 billion, the companies said Tuesday.
The deal gives CVS the second-largest pharmacy network in the U.S. after Walgreens Boots Alliance, the nation’s second-biggest drugstore chain, and it also puts the chain in a position to continue expanding in a market dominated by Walmart.
The two companies will work together to expand CVS Caremark, the specialty health insurer, and Anthem Caremark Inc., a smaller insurer, the deal said.
CVS will buy Anthem’s pharmacy network and healthcare business.
The merger is expected to close in the fourth quarter.
Anthem said in a statement that the two companies’ merger “will enable us to accelerate the completion of our acquisitions and accelerate the transformation of our business, including our specialty pharmacy network, to better serve our customers and meet our healthcare needs.”
Anthem’s deal to buy CVS is the largest consolidation deal in American pharmacy history, eclipsing the $14.4 billion deal by Walgenders Boots Alliance in 2007.
In addition to the Anthem-CVS deal, CVS has been buying other companies to fill the gap in specialty pharmacy networks.
In April, the company announced that it was buying the assets of CVS Home & Garden and Rite Aid for $4.9 billion.
The company also bought the assets and the medical device business of the CVS Group.