It’s Not Goodbye, It’s See You Later: Cigna, Humana Could Resurrect Deal Talks

Call it the blockbuster deal that never was. The Wall Street Journal reported on Dec. 10 that The Cigna Group abandoned merger talks with Humana Inc., ending a multiweek stir over a report from the same publication that the companies were discussing a deal that would have created a $140 billion megainsurer. With the dust now settling, analysts and industry observers are speculating about what comes next for the two firms — with some suggesting that Cigna may eventually wind up back at the negotiating table.

Neither Cigna nor Humana ever officially confirmed their reported deal discussions. But on the same day that the WSJ reported Cigna was abandoning its pursuit of Humana, Cigna said its board of directors had approved an additional $10 billion in share repurchases. Cigna CEO David Cordani also issued a telling statement hinting at what might have derailed the merger talks — per the WSJ, the firms couldn’t agree on financial terms — and addressing the company’s merger and acquisition (M&A) strategy.

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Leslie Small

Leslie Small

Leslie has been working in journalism since 2009 and reporting on the health care industry since 2014. She has covered the many ups and downs of the Affordable Care Act exchanges, the failed health insurer mega-mergers, and hundreds of other storylines spanning subjects such as Medicaid managed care, Medicare Advantage, employer-sponsored insurance, and prescription drug coverage. As the managing editor of Health Plan Weekly and Radar on Drug Benefits, she writes and edits for both publications while overseeing a small team of reporters who also focus on the managed care sector. Before joining AIS Health, she was a senior editor for the e-newsletter Fierce Health Payer, and she started her career as a copy editor at multiple local newspapers. She graduated with a dual degree in journalism and political science from Penn State University.

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