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Atena To Acquire Humana For $37 Billion In Cash And Stock

Health insurer Atena announced its intent to buy Humana Inc. for around $37 billion, marking the largest deal in insurance industry history.

The announcement, which was made on Friday, indicates that the acquisition will be paid for with a combination of both cash as well as stock and when the deal is finalized, Aetna’s Medicare Advantage business will see a nearly three-hundred percent increase. But before the deal can be finalized, it must pass antitrust scrutiny, Reuters reported.

If the deal does go through, it will dwarf the ACE Ltd’s $28 billion acquisition of Chubb Corp — previously the largest insurance deal — which was announced just last week.

Announcement of the 34.1 billion merger comes on the heels of reports that Anthem and Cigna have rekindled talks.

Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini indicated that being the first to tie the knot might give them an edge when it comes to their antitrust review and it also “creates caution for others coming in next,” the Wall Street Journal reported.

Being first in creates caution for others coming in next

When the dust settles, the New York Times points out in a recent report that three national behemoths are likely to emerge — three companies which would each have an annual revenue in excess of $100 billion.

While the big insurers are getting bigger with most of their revenue accounted for between employer, Medicare and Medicaid plans, regional and state-based nonprofits still prove competitive, especially when it comes to employer-based coverage.

In other acquisitions, Nomad Holdings completed its $2.9 billion acquisition of Iglo Foods just last month.

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