Execs: Anthem, Cigna Deal Built on 'Synergies'

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Executives behind the $54 billion merger between Indianapolis-based Anthem Inc. (NYSE: ANTM) and Cigna Corp. (NYSE: CI) believe it will clear the multitude of federal and state regulatory hurdles because of the merger's "complimentary" nature. The companies say the combination will result in annual savings of nearly $2 billion. Anthem employs 5,000 Hoosiers and plans to keep its Indianapolis headquarters and its name, while maintaining a "significant" presence at Cigna's current Connecticut headquarters.

The merged company will cover around 53 million members. 

If the deal receives all necessary approvals, Joseph Swedish, who serves as Anthem's chairman, CEO and president will become chairman and CEO of the combined company. David Cordani will be president and chief operating officer and be one of five Cigna representatives on the expanded 14-member board.

During a conference call with investors this morning, Swedish said a large part of the merger discussions focused on aligning the businesses for a "perfectly-integrated execution" process. He said leaders "have their arms around" the complexities of completing the deal. He said combinations like this have been "done, but not often" and added both he and Cordani have previous experience shepherding agreements that were "case studies in integration."

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