Cigna Rejects Anthem’s $47B Merger Bid, Says It’s “Deeply Disappointed” By Suitor’s Recent Actions

After Anthem Inc. unveiled its roughly $47 billion bid to merge with fellow health insurer Cigna Corp. over the weekend, the object of its affections swiftly put the kibosh on that proposal. In a letter to Anthem’s board, Cigna said it was “deeply disappointed” with its suitors recent actions, and that the offer wasn’t in the best interest of shareholders.

Cigna Chairman Isaiah Harris, Jr. and Chief Executive David Cordani penned the letter explaining exactly why the company wouldn’t be getting hitched to Anthem, reports Reuters.

Among the reasons: Anthem’s “lack of growth strategies,” complications related to its membership of Blue Cross Blue Shield Association and its “massive” recent data breach.

“We have attempted to engage in dialogue so that we can understand and consider these issues,” the letter said. “Unfortunately, you have continued to avoid addressing these key concerns and have failed to demonstrate what has changed over the past few months.”

Cigna’s board also has doubts over Anthem’s “insistence” that one guy would assume four roles at the new combined company: Joseph Swedish is Anthem’s president and CEO, and would then be chairman, CEO, president and head of integration at the new company.

“Your proposal raises very serious questions regarding your views on proper governance, board oversight and risk management and underestimates the complexity of combining our organizations,” the letter adds.

Anthem said today that it’s not giving up just yet however, and is committed to pursuing Cigna. It says the combined insurer would have a much broader base over which to spread costs and expenses, and it would be able to make big investments in technology for the industry’s biggest customer pool, reports the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

“The proposal we submitted to Cigna presents significant and compelling value for shareholders in a transaction that would bring together two highly complementary platforms with a powerful growth potential,” Swedish said in a statement from the company.

In the meantime, Cigna is looking to date elsewhere, competing with Aetna Inc. to buy Humana Inc, sources tell Reuters.

Cigna rebuffs Anthem’s ‘deeply disappointing’ proposal [Reuters]

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