Anthem poised to acquire Cigna in $54.2bn insurance industry megadeal

BY Fraser Tennant

Anthem Inc. and Cigna Corporation have announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement whereby Anthem will acquire all Cigna’s outstanding shares in a transaction valued at $54.2bn - the largest deal ever seen in the history of the insurance industry.

The combined health services company will cover approximately 53 million medical members with well positioned commercial, government, consumer and specialty businesses, along with a market-leading international franchise.

“We are very pleased to announce an agreement that will deliver meaningful value to consumers and shareholders through expanded provider collaboration, enhanced affordability and cost of care management capabilities, and superior innovations that deliver a high quality health care experience for consumers," said Joseph Swedish, president and chief executive of Anthem.

Expected to become an industry leader due to enhanced diversification capabilities, the united companies will utilise their complementary strengths, including Anthem’s Blue Cross and Blue Shield footprint in 14 states (and Medicaid footprint via its Amerigroup brand in 19 states) with Cigna’s US and global portfolio of health and protection services.

Mr Swedish continued: “We believe that this transaction will allow us to enhance our competitive position and be better positioned to apply the insights and access of a broad network and dedicated local presence to the health care challenges of the increasingly diverse markets, membership, and communities we serve.”

Upon close of the transaction, Mr Swedish will serve as chairman and chief executive of the new entity. David Cordani, currently Cigna’s president and chief executive, will take on the role of president and chief operating officer. Additionally, and effective upon close of the transaction, the Anthem board of directors will be expanded to 14 members with Mr Cordani and four independent directors from Cigna’s current board joining Anthem’s.

“Our companies share proud histories and an even brighter future," said Mr Cordani. “Going forward our new company will deliver an acceleration of innovative and affordable health and protection benefits solutions that help address our health system's challenges and provide supplemental insurance protection, and health care security to consumers, their families, and the communities we share with them.”

Cigna’s financial and legal advisers for the transaction are Morgan Stanley and Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP, respectively. For Anthem, the financial advisers were UBS Investment Bank and Credit Suisse with White & Case LLP serving as legal adviser.

Although the transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2016, regulatory scrutiny may delay consummation of the deal for a year at least. Adding to concerns is Anthem and Cigna’s lower opening on the New York Stock Exchange following the announcement of the transaction - lost ground which both companies may struggle to regain.

News: Anthem to buy Cigna for $54B in mega insurance merger

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