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Aetna CEO Bertolini Could Get $88 Million Parachute in CVS Deal

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Aetna Inc. Chief Executive Officer Mark Bertolini could walk away with at least $88.3 million if he’s terminated soon after CVS Health Corp. buys the insurer.

Bertolini holds equity awards valued at $71.9 million at the CVS deal’s $207 offer price that would vest immediately if he’s let go within two years of a transaction, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. He’s also entitled to about $6.72 million in severance and had accumulated $9.72 million in deferred compensation and pension as of Dec. 31.

(Related: 3 Possible CVS-Aetna Deal Effects, for Agents

Aetna will operate as a standalone business within CVS and be run by members of Bertolini’s team, while he will give up his executive duties and join the board of the combined entity, T.J. Crawford, a spokesman for the insurer, said in an email. He declined to comment on the compensation package.

Aetna’s shares had gained 46% this year through Friday’s close, driven in past weeks by speculation about the deal. That boosted the value of Bertolini’s potential payout. CVS’s offer price is 14% above the stock’s $180.31 close on Friday.

The package is rich compared to what Bertolini’s peers could receive under similar circumstances. UnitedHealth Group Inc. Executive Chairman Stephen Hemsley, who had served as CEO until Sept. 1, would have been paid $53 million if he was let go after a deal as of Dec. 31. Cigna Corp.’s David Cordani and Humana Inc.’s Bruce Broussard would have gotten $51.5 million and $49.5 million, respectively.

Any outstanding equity awards in those packages would likely be worth a bit more today, since the S&P 500 Health Care Index had risen almost 21% this year through Friday.

—With assistance from Zachary Tracer and Jenn Zhao.

—Read Anthem Loses D.C. Circuit Bid to Revive Cigna Merger on ThinkAdvisor.

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