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CVS Corp. said yesterday that it is tripling from $2 to $6 per share the special cash dividend it will pay to Caremark Rx shareholders if they approve its proposed acquisition by the chain drug store company.

The CVS stock bid was worth more than $24 billion before the increased dividend was announced, which adds about $1.7 billion to the total. That brings it roughly in line with a competing and hostile bid launched by a Caremark competitor, Express Scripts, worth about $26 billion.

The goal of the CVS-Caremark deal is to merge one of the nation’s largest drugstore chains with the largest pharmacy-benefits manager, which will create a major player in the health-care industry, with significant buying power in generic drugs and dominant positions in numbers of retail outlets and mail-order capability.
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