The termination date for Indianapolis-based Anthem Inc.’s (NYSE: ANTM) proposed acquisition of one of its largest competitors has been extended. The $54 billion deal for Cigna Corp. (NYSE: CI) was previously expected to close in the second half of last year. The new termination date is April 30.
In a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Anthem says the extension is necessary, "regardless of the outcome of the District Court’s proceeding in United States, et al. v. Anthem, Inc. and Cigna Corp." The lawsuit was filed last July by the U.S. Department of Justice in order to block what would be the largest health insurance industry merger in U.S. history. The DOJ argues the combination would "substantially lessen competition, harming millions of American consumers, as well as doctors and hospitals."
The proposed acquisition was first announced in the second half of 2015. In November, Anthem released its third quarter earnings report that showed a profit of $617.8 million, compared to a net income of $654.8 million during the same period a year earlier.