CVS spokesperson: Aetna is staying in Hartford

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The insurance giant announced in June that it would move its headquarters to New York City beginning in late 2018 after almost two centuries in Hartford, Connecticut.

Carolyn Castel, who is the vice president for corporate communications for CVS Health, said CVS officials met with the mayor of Hartford on Thursday and they chose to not move Aetna's operations from Connecticut's capital city.

CVS Health CEO Larry Merlo met with Gov. Dannel Malloy on Thursday as well. Palombi said, not unlike the company's plans for Aetna's being centered in Hartford.

NY city officials, the business publication reported, withdrew a $9.6 million incentive package that was offered to Aetna because the relocation wasn't moving forward.

CVS struck its deal to buy Aetna last month, combining one of the nation's largest pharmacy benefits managers and pharmacy operators with one of its oldest health insurers, whose national business ranges from employer healthcare to government plans. Today's announcement confirms that CT is a tremendous place to do business, with a talent pipeline and quality of life that are second-to-none.

Those plans were complicated once Aetna agreed to be acquired by CVS in early December.

Aetna has inked a lease to occupy a new building in lower Manhattan, committing to move 250 headquarters workers to the site from Hartford. At the time, Aetna said it planned to move approximately 250 employees to Manhattan, but things changed toward the end of past year.

The Malloy administration is not offering CVS any incentives to keep Aetna's headquarters in Hartford, according to a source familiar with the situation.

CVS will continue to be headquartered in Rhode Island.

David Cadden, a business professor at Quinnipiac University, said the announcement gives CT an opportunity to change its image as a business unfriendly environment. Empire State Development, New York state's economic development arm, also had offered the insurer $24 million in performance-based tax credits to open the office in the city. Unfortunately, the repositioning of a corporate headquarters is a zero-sum game where one location's gain is another location's loss.

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