CVS plans to keep Aetna's headquarters in CT

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New York City economic development officials said they were rescinding a previous offer of some $9.6 million in tax breaks.

Aetna won't be pulling up stakes from Hartford after all now that the health insurance giant is planning to be acquired by CVS Health. She noted that while CVS Health will continue to be headquartered in Woonsocket, Rhode Island, the drug store chain and health benefits company also operates "a number of large corporate hubs, or centers of excellence, in other states, including Arizona, Illinois and Texas".

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.

The company's CEO met with Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy as well as Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin on Thursday.

But CVS Health's $69 billion deal to buy Aetna threw the insurer's relocation plans into jeopardy.

"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", Malloy said. "My administration will continue to work with CVS Health's leadership team to ensure that their footprint in Hartford is maintained not only for the short-term, but in the long-run as well".

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Crain's New York Business reported earlier this week that the incentive package used to lure Aetna to New York was falling apart.

CVS confirmed to Channel 3 that the company has "no plans to relocate Aetna's operations from Hartford".

Aetna had pledged to spend $84 million to move 250 senior corporate executives from Hartford into a 145,000-square-foot building at 61 Ninth Ave., in Manhattan.

The insurer last summer announced plans to relocate its headquarters to New York City, in what would have been yet another blow to Connecticut's economy and its civic pride. It traces its roots in Hartford to 1819.

David Cadden, a business professor at Quinnipiac University, said the announcement gives CT an opportunity to change its image as a business unfriendly environment. NY state government officials had also offered Aetna about $24 million in tax breaks over 10 years.