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Activist investor takes small stake in CVS

Illustration of a business man with a CVS bag and an extremely long receipt
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Starboard Value, the activist hedge fund led by Jeffrey Smith, has taken a "relatively small" stake in CVS Health Corp. (NYSE: CVS), per the Wall Street Journal.

Why it matters: We don't know what Starboard wants from CVS, except that it isn't the status quo. Plus, this comes just weeks after reports that private equity is kicking the tire on CVS rival Walgreens, while Starboard just realized a win yesterday when eBay agreed to sell StubHub to Viagogo for $4 billion.

  • Market reactions: CVS shares rose more than 1.7% on Monday, giving it a market cap of nearly $100 billion.
  • The bottom line: "Starboard is one of the top activist-investment firms and its presence in a stock usually causes a company to sit up and take notice." — Corrie Driebusch, WSJ

Go deeper: Walgreens' outsized role in the opioid epidemic