CVS

Kekst & Co. advised CVS Health in its blockbuster $77B cash/stock/debt deal to acquire Aetna, the nation’s No. 3 insurer, a move destined to reshape the healthcare sector.

CVS CEO Larry Merlo promised the marriage will remake the “consumer healthcare experience” by combining Aetna’s analytics savvy with CVS’ “human touch.”

The Financial Times speculated the deal also is designed to fend off Amazon’s anticipated foray into the pharmacy sector as the online retailer has been acquiring wholesale state pharmacy licenses to pave the way for its market entry.

CVS is the nation’s No. 1 drug store chain with more than  9,700 outlets, of which about 1,100 of them are equipped with a “MinuteClinic” walk-in facility.

Aetna provides healthcare benefits to an estimated 44.6M customers.

Kekst’s managing directors Dawn Dover, Ruth Pachman, Daniel Yunger, and Tom Davies counseled CVS with associates Ashe Reardon, Charlotte Stone, Cathryn Vaulman, and analyst Maddie Sewani.

Publicis Groupe owns Kekst.