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Sweden: Anthem CEO says antitrust review timing still on track

 |  January 12, 2016

Anthem Corp’s chief executive officer, Joseph Swedish, said on Monday he is optimistic the company will get the antitrust regulatory approval it needs for its $47 billion purchase of smaller rival Cigna this year.

Swedish, in an interview at the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference, said Anthem – which will become the largest US health insurer if the deal goes through – is still providing documents to antitrust regulators to be used in deciding competitive issues.

He expects that process to end in the “not too distant future,” at which point the US Justice department will sort through the information and make a decision on how to proceed.

“We are still hopeful that somewhere in the second half of the year, we will get the announcement from the DOJ. … We are optimistic,” Swedish said. “We have not seen anything that has given us cause for concern.”

Anthem and Cigna announced their deal this past summer, a few weeks after Aetna Inc said it would buy smaller rival Humana Inc. Investors have been skeptical about both deals closing, and with a long regulatory review timeline, shares in both companies are trading far from the values implied by the deal terms.

Full content: Insurance Journal

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