Anthem offers $47 billion for Cigna as insurers race for a deal

Anthem offers $47 billion for Cigna as insurers race for a deal

Anthem offers $47 billion for Cigna as insurers race for a deal

 US health insurer Anthem said on Saturday it had offered $47 billion in cash and stock for smaller rival Cigna Corp, signaling a pick-up in the industry’s long-awaited consolidation.

The biggest US health insurers are seeking acquisitions to boost membership in government-paid healthcare plans and the employer-based insurance that is Cigna’s specialty. Being bigger can help them negotiate better prices and improved networks of doctors, they said.

Anthem’s offer comes as Cigna, as well as insurer Aetna, are participating in an auction to acquire another rival, Humana, according to a source. Humana was first reported to be considering a sale in May.

Anthem, the second largest US health insurer, said in a statement it had made four offers for Cigna in June, but that the deal was stalled over Cigna Chief Executive David Cordani’s role in the merged company.

In a letter published as part of the company’s statement on Saturday, Anthem detailed its weeks-long attempts to reach a deal with Cigna, including the steps by which it raised its offer to $184 per share.

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