News broke Monday regarding CVS Health Corp.’s (CVS) $69 billion bid to buy insurance giant Aetna Inc. (AET). The deal would mark the health insurance industry’s largest acquisition to date and reflects a broader repositioning of the health industry as traditional players scramble to guard themselves against the anticipated arrival of Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN). (See also: Amazon Will Next Take Retail Pharmacy: Bernstein.)

Responding to the potential merger, one team of analysts is already speculating another $46 billion deal to come from CVS rival Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT). According to analysts at Leerink Partners, increased competition in the health care space and the threat of an integrated health care pharmacy offering from CVS may push the world’s largest retail chain to buy out its long-time partner Humana Inc. (HUM).

25% to 30% Premium Expected 

Leerink’s Ana Gupte noted that Humana and Wal-Mart have already been in a relationship for at least six years in which the health insurer steers its members to Walmart’s pharmacies for deals on prescription co-pays. “Humana and Wal-Mart have been in a very tight relationship for six or seven years,” Gupte told CNBC in a recent interview. “It’s not a formal joint venture, but they steer Humana members to Wal-Mart.”

She said she expects the deal to reflect an approximate 25% to 30% premium over Humana’s market capitalization on Friday of about $37 billion. Monday’s sell-off, which saw shares close down 2.4% at $252.28, shaved nearly $1 billion of the insurance company’s value. The stock has gained 23.7% year-to-date (YTD) versus the S&P 500’s 17.9% increase over the same period.

The analyst added that Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. (WBA), Cigna Corp. (CI) and Anthem Inc. (ANTM) are among those most likely to ink a deal in order to compete in a disrupted health care industry. (See also: CVS Launches Next-Day Delivery to Counter Amazon.)

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