Anthem Raises Offer for Cigna to $184 Per Share

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Anthem Inc. (ANTM), one of the largest health insurers in the nation, announced Saturday that it has raised its offer to acquire Cigna Corp. (CI) to $184 per share in cash and stock, or $53.8 billion including debt.

"The proposed combination would create a premiere health benefits company with critical diversification and scale to lead the transformation of health care delivery for consumers," Anthem said in a news release of its non-binding proposal. "The combined company would be an industry leader with greater than $115 billion in annual revenues, based on the most recent 2015 outlook publicly reported by both companies."

News reports earlier this month had indicated that Anthem had offered $175 a share for Cigna, but that the deal stalled because David Cordani, chief executive of Cigna, was looking to remain at the top of the new Anthem-Cigna company. 

The Wall Street Journal said Saturday that Anthem was making its offer public in an effort to encourage Cigna shareholders to put pressure on the company, based in Bloomfield, Conn.

Anthem, based in Indianapolis, said in its news release: "Anthem has been engaged with Cigna to explore a potential combination since August 2014 and is making its proposal public today following Cigna's refusal to reasonably negotiate and its insistence on securing governance matters that are not common practice in similar transactions."

Anthem's proposal was made in a letter of Cigna's board of directors that was dated Saturday. 

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