Cigna rebuffs Anthem’s ‘deeply disappointing’ proposal

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People enter the office building of health insurer Anthem in Los Angeles, California February 5, 2015. REUTERS/Gus Ruelas
People enter the office building of health insurer Anthem in Los Angeles, California February 5, 2015.   REUTERS/Gus Ruelas
REUTERS/Gus Ruelas

By Jennifer Saba

Health insurer Cigna Corp (CI.N) rebuffed Anthem Inc’s (ANTM.N) $47 billion merger proposal on Sunday, saying it was “deeply disappointed” with Anthem’s recent actions and the offer was not in the best interest of shareholders.

Anthem’s offer for smaller rival Cigna is part of a daisy chain of potential deals in the health insurance sector. The biggest players are seeking acquisitions to boost membership in government-paid healthcare plans and employer-based insurance. The bigger the insurer, the more negotiating power it has with prices and improving its doctor networks.

Cigna Chairman Isaiah Harris, Jr. and Chief Executive David Cordani wrote a letter to Anthem’s board outlining reasons why the company was rejecting Anthem’s stock and cash offer. The list included Anthem’s “lack of growth strategies,” complications related to its membership of Blue Cross Blue Shield Association and its “massive” data breach in February.

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