Why Walgreens now appears less likely to acquire Humana or WellCare

Stock analysts have speculated that CVS Health's $69 billion deal to buy Aetna may push Walgreens Boots Alliance to purchase Humana or WellCare Health Plans, but those deals now appear less likely, according to TheStreet.  

The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that Walgreens is in talks to purchase the portion of AmerisourceBergen it doesn't already own. These talks "reduce the likelihood that WBA would be an acquirer of [Humana] or [WellCare] as we have speculated as a strategic response to" the CVS-Aetna deal, Ana Gupte, a Leerink Partners analyst, wrote on Monday, according to TheStreet.

Walgreens' potential acquisition of AmerisourceBergen is "timed right as a response to the increasing competition and pressure from other vertical integrations across the healthcare industry, especially the CVS-Aetna announcement," said Brad Haller, M&A director at West Monroe Partners, according to TheStreet.

AmerisourceBergen is Walgreens' primary pharmaceutical drug distributor, and a deal between the two companies would lead to more immediate synergy and margin opportunities than the CVS-Aetna transaction, according to Mr. Haller.  

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