Walmart reportedly in early-stage talks to buy Humana: 5 things to know

Retail giant Walmart is in preliminary talks with health insurer Humana about developing a closer partnership, and one possibility is Walmart acquiring Humana, people familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal.

Here are five things to know.

1. The two companies are discussing a variety of options, and it is not certain they will strike a deal. If they do reach an agreement, it would be Walmart's largest deal ever. Humana's current market value is about $37 billion, according to WSJ.

2. If the potential deal, which would require regulatory and shareholder approval, closes, Walmart would be one of the largest health insurers in the country.

3. The talks between Walmart and Humana come amid a flurry of deals that could transform the business of managing healthcare, including CVS Health's proposed acquisition of Aetna for $69 billion and Cigna's proposed acquisition of Express Scripts for $54 billion.

4. Humana shares jumped 10 percent in after hours trading March 29 after WSJ first reported the preliminary talks. Shares of Walmart dropped 1 percent.

5. Walmart, which is a major drugstore operator in addition to being the world's largest retailer, has a current market value of $260 billion.

More articles on payer issues:

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