Aetna and Humana call off their $34 billion merger

Cigna sued Anthem in DE court Tuesday for $15 billion in damages and termination fees as it seeks to pull the plug on the companies' planned $54 billion merger - but Anthem said its fellow health insurer couldn't legally drop the deal.

Aetna and Humana called off a $34 billion proposal to combine the two major health insurers after a federal judge, citing antitrust concerns, shot down the deal.

In July 2015, the Aetna announced the deal to buy Humana in a cash and stock deal that was worth around $230 per share of Humana's shares.

Under terms of the merger agreement struck in July 2015, Aetna would have to pay a $1 billion breakup fee should the deal not be consummated by February 15, 2017.

Both companies would have combined to form the second-largest health insurer in the US.

This August 2011 photo shows the entrance to the Humana building, in Louisville, Ky.

Bates halted the deal even though the two companies agreed to sell some of their Medicare Advantage business in overlapping markets to Molina Healthcare, saying Molina does not have a strong track record in Medicare.


Meanwhile, Cigna officials were always uneasy about Anthem's post-merger plans for the company that would be created in the merger.

The dissolution of the Aetna-Humana is proceeding more smoothly.

Bloomfield, Connecticut-based Cigna was apparently disappointed in the outcome, and believes the deal has no chance of achieving regulatory approval, despite Anthem's announcement of an appeal.

A federal judge blocked the deal last month on antitrust grounds, siding with the Justice Department.

"We had viewed a successful appeal as highly unlikely given the decisiveness of the lower court's opinion and a DOJ (Department of Justice) settlement as a longshot", Evercore ISI analyst Michael Newshel wrote in an research note.

Medicare Advantage plans are privately run versions of the government's Medicare program for people who are over age 65 or disabled.

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