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Cigna Files Suit Against Former Merger Partner Anthem

Feb 14, 2017

As one health insurance mega-merger becomes history, the other has a less certain end. Cigna said it wants to terminate its agreement with partner Anthem, despite the fact that Anthem has filed an appeal over the court ruling denying the tie-up.

Bloomfield-based Cigna has filed suit against its former partner to make its point.

A federal judge ruled last week that the Anthem-Cigna merger would be anti-competitive, particularly for large, employer-based plans around the country. 

In the wake of a similar ruling against the Aetna-Humana merger in January, the outcome was not unexpected. But Anthem nevertheless filed an appeal, seeking to have that judgment overturned. Cigna waited another week to unveil its next move.

On Tuesday, it issued a statement saying it has exercised its right to terminate the proposed merger agreement, and the company, "believes that the transaction cannot and will not achieve regulatory approval and that terminating the agreement is in the best interest of Cigna’s shareholders."

Cigna filed suit against Anthem in the Delaware Court of Chancery, seeking the agreed $1.85 billion breakup fee, but it also wants damages for its shareholders in the amount of $13 billion. "These additional damages include the amount of premium that Cigna shareholders did not realize as a result of the failed merger process," the statement goes on.

Earlier Tuesday, Aetna and Humana announced that they would accept the decision of the judge who ruled against their merger, and end their agreement.