PHARMACY

Anthem acquires Cigna’s outstanding shares

BY Lesley Thulin

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. and BLOOMFIELD, Conn. — Blue Cross and Blue Shield insurer Anthem, Inc. announced today that it will acquire all outstanding shares of Cigna Corporation, a global health insurance service company, in a cash and stock transaction. The transaction is valued at $54.2 billion on an enterprise basis.

The combined company will control Anthem’s Blue Cross and Blue Shield footprint in 14 states, in addition to its Medicaid footprint — via its Amerigroup brand — in 19 states.

“The complementary nature of our businesses will allow us to leverage the deep global healthcare knowledge, local market talent, and expertise of both organizations to ensure that consumers have access to affordable and personalized solutions across diverse life and health stages and position us for sustained success,” David M. Cordani, Cigna president and CEO said.

The combined company will feature enhanced diversification and capabilities to advance the transformation of healthcare delivery for consumers. As a result of the deal, Anthem will have more than $115 billion in pro forma annual revenues, based on the most recent 2015 outlooks publicly reported by both companies.

It will also cover approximately 53 million medical members with well-positioned commercial, government, consumer, specialty and international franchises.

Cigna shareholders will receive $103.40 in cash, as well as 0.5152 Anthem common shares for each Cigna common share. The total per share consideration is approximately $188 for each Cigna share, based on Anthem's closing share price on May 28.

Anthem president and CEO Joseph Swedish will serve as chairman and CEO of the combined company, with David Cordani as president and COO. Anthem’s Board of Directors will also grow to include 14 members, with Cordani and four independent directors from Cigna’s current Board of Directors joining the nine current members.

Cigna’s shareholders will receive an “unaffected” premium of approximately 38.4%, based on the unaffected closing price of Cigna’s shares on May 28, according to a press release. The combined company would reflect a pro forma equity ownership, comprised of approximately 67% Anthem shareholders and about 33% Cigna shareholders.

The agreement “will deliver meaningful value to consumers and shareholders through expanded provider collaboration, enhanced affordability and cost of care management capabilities, and superior innovations that deliver a high quality health care experience for consumers,” Swedish said.

Swedish hopes the deal will enhance their competitive position.

“The Cigna team has built a set of capabilities that greatly complement our own offerings and the combined company will have a competitive presence across commercial, government, international and specialty segments,” he said. “These expanded capabilities will enable us to better serve our customers as their health care needs evolve.”

The transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2016, pending the receipt of state regulatory approvals and the expiration of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act. It is subject to customary closing conditions, including the approval of Cigna’s shareholders of the merger agreement and Anthem’s shareholders of the issuance of shares in the transaction.  

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NACDS Total Store Expo exhibit hall sold out

BY Lesley Thulin

ARLINGTON, Va. — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores today announced that the Exhibit Hall for the 2015 NACDS Total Store Expo, which will take place from Aug. 22 to 25 at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, is sold out.

“The one thing that matters most at the NACDS Total Store Expo is the strong engagement of retailers and suppliers, and that strong engagement is aligning again to create another exceptional opportunity for participants at the 2015 event,” said NACDS President and CEO Steven Anderson, IOM, CAE. “The industry’s enthusiasm and support for this event are greatly appreciated. The focus now is on fostering the preparation by each participant, to help create a successful and productive experience for retailers and exhibitors.”   

Although the exhibit space is sold out, online registration and a wait list are still open for retail and supplier companies.

The third annual Total Store Expo will feature:

  • Insight Sessions that offer presentations by experts on a variety of key issues and priorities including innovation, healthcare, business and logistics. To date, 21 Insight Sessions are scheduled during the NACDS Total Store Expo;
  • 10-minute Meet the Market appointments arranged by NACDS that enable participating exhibitors to present their company and products to retailers;
  • A Meet the Retailer component, which provides suppliers with the opportunity to hear directly from retailers about how to do business together;
  • A look into what comes next in the industry through Vision 2026; and
  • Speakers, including television journalist and author Tom Brokaw.

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Novartis gets FDA approval for Odomzo

BY David Salazar

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration announced Friday that it had approved Novartis’ Odomzo (sonidegib). The drug is meant to treat basal cell carcinoma, the most common form of advanced skin cancer, in patients who are not candidates for surgery or radiation therapy, or whose cancer has recurred following treatment. 
 
“The FDA approval of Odomzo offers a new and non-invasive treatment option for a potentially devastating disease that is hard to treat and can be disfiguring,” Bruno Strigini, President, Novartis Oncology, said. "Odomzo is an important addition to our growing portfolio of targeted treatments for advanced skin cancers and underscores our commitment to developing and bringing to market new options for patients."
 
The approval of Odomzo is another step for new treatments for cancer based on increased research, the FDA said. 
 
“Our increasing understanding of molecular pathways involved in cancer has led to approvals of many oncology drugs in difficult-to-treat diseases for which few therapeutic options previously existed,”  Dr. Richard Pazdur, director of the Office of Hematology and Oncology Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said.
 

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