Walmart is said to be in early negotiations to acquire Humana, the insurance company could mark Walmart's biggest acquisition ever.
Citing persons familiar with the matter the Wall Street Journal reported that it is not clear what the negotiated deal terms are or whether a deal will end. But if anything is achieved, it would probably be on the big side – assuming Humana has a market value of around $ 37 billion. It would also be Walmart's biggest buy, which raged in 1999 over its $ 10.8 billion acquisition of Asda. Walmart has a market value of $ 260 billion, noted the Wall Street Journal
According to the newspaper, the two sides are talking about a variety of options, including a takeover of Walmart. If Walmart were to be dyed and passed by regulators, Walmart would become one of the largest health insurance companies in the country.
Walmart currently operates pharmacies in nearly 4,700 stores in the US as well as in many of its Sam's club warehouses and has primary care clinics. It pushed further into the healthcare market – it recently announced it was working with a large lab company to offer lab testing.
A takeover of Humana could deepen Walmart's offerings to seniors, as Humana is an insurer focused on Medicare. According to T he Wall Street Journal it is the second largest provider of Medicare Advantage plans and controls about 17 percent of this market, with 3.5 million policyholders. Humana also has a pharmacy benefits manager business, and the two partners Medicare drug plans. Humana has also extended its offer to healthcare to cut costs for its members. In 2017, it said it would acquire a stake in a home health and hospice care provider, the newspaper noted.
The talks between Walmart and Humana are coming as a lot of deals are going on in the healthcare market, mainly because of Amazon moving into that market. Late last year, CVS announced that it would take over Aetna – Humana's rival – for $ 69 billion, while Cigna announced in March that it would buy $ 48 billion in express scripts. Amazon has already announced plans to partner with JPMorgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway to create a new kind of healthcare company that is expected to push the market to a large extent. Recently, the company has also extended its prime program to Medicaid beneficiaries, which is an important demographic for Walmart, according to the report.