The shareholders of Indianapolis-based Anthem Inc. (NYSE: ANTM) and Cigna Corp. (NYSE: CI) in Connecticut have approved the proposed $54 billion merger of the major insurance providers. Anthem and Cigna officials say 99 percent of their respective company’s shareholders voted for the deal this morning during special meetings.
Anthem Chief Executive Officer Joe Swedish says "we are pleased that Anthem shareholders have overwhelmingly voiced their support for our pending acquisition of Cigna, allowing us to move one step closer to making this compelling combination a reality. For more than 75 years, Anthem has played a leadership role in helping individuals to access and finance high quality healthcare. The combination of Anthem and Cigna will continue this long history of leadership and will deliver near- and long-term value by accelerating innovation, enhancing our collaborative efforts with providers and, most importantly, increasing consumer access to high quality, affordable healthcare."
In advance of today’s gathering in Indianapolis, the Anthem Board of Directors and three prominent investment advisory firms, Glass Lewis & Co., Institutional Shareholder Services and Egan-Jones Proxy Services, all urged support of the proposal.
If the deal clears remaining regulatory hurdles, it is expected to result in a company estimated to include 53 million members and have revenue of $115 billion.
Both parties still anticipate the deal will close in the second half of next year.