Friday, April 8, 2011

CVS $25 Billion Benefit Looms With Caremark Breakup

CVS Caremark Corp. (CVS), created in a takeover four years ago that has left investors with underperforming stock, could be worth $25 billion more if the company split itself up.

Shareholders SunAmerica Asset Management Corp. and Cambiar Investors LLC say Chief Executive Officer Larry Merlo, 55, may have to separate CVS Caremark’s drugstore and pharmacy-benefits units if the largest U.S. provider of prescription drugs doesn’t lift profit growth. Merlo last month replaced Thomas Ryan, 58, who orchestrated the purchase of Caremark RX Inc. in March 2007. Since then, the stock gained just 3.4 percent through yesterday, trailing a 14 percent advance for companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index that sell consumer staples.

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