Anthem hunts for next deal after mega merger collapse

Anthem hunts for next deal after mega merger collapse
Indianapolis-based health insurer Anthem is reportedly looking for its next deal, just weeks after abandoning its $48 billion merger with Cigna due to anti-trust issues. 

The Indiana Business Journal has also reported that Anthem is also planning to repurchase up to $2 billion in stock, invest an undisclosed amount in the business, and move ahead with plans to set up a new pharmacy-benefits management plan effective in 2020, when its current deal with Express Scripts expires.

Last May, a Delaware judge ruled that Cigna could walk away from the merger – months after another judge ruled the deal as anticompetitive. The Justice Department sued in July 2016 to block the merger, arguing it would further consolidate an already concentrated market and lead to higher costs for employers, Bloomberg reported.

“I think it’s really important to understand we’ve not been sitting back, relaxed, through the Cigna journey,” Anthem CEO Joseph Swedish told investors at a UBS Global Healthcare Conference in New York City on May 24, as quoted by the Indiana Business Journal.

“Over the past year, we’ve been sort of assessing various scenarios that would play out—one, of course, being we would go on our own.”

The paper said any deal Anthem will make would likely be smaller than the Cigna deal, to avoid antitrust issues.

“We have really committed ourselves to being a growth company,” Swedish said, as quoted by the report. “That is first and foremost on our list of responsibilities… We’re going to be successful one way or another, regardless of what the decision [on Cigna] was going to be.”

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