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Anthem Boss: Cigna Deal Like Many Other Mergers, Only Bigger

Matthew Hurst

Executives with Indianapolis-based Anthem have given their first interviews about the deal that will make the health insurance company the largest in America, following a $54 billion deal to merge with rival company Cigna.

The companies announced the agreement Friday morning, after a year of sometimes-contentious negotiations. The purchase price represents about $34 a share above Connecticut-based Cigna's current value.

Anthem says the merger will allow the combined company to save $2 billion in operating costs while reining in the costs of care.

Anthem president and CEO Joseph Swedish will be chairman and CEO of the combined company, while Cigna counterpart David Cordani will be president and COO.

Swedish says both companies have been through so many mergers in the past as the health care field has consolidated that this one won’t be any different.

It's expected to take at least a year to finalize the merger. If antitrust regulators approve, the new company will have about 53 million members, surpassing United Health Group as the nation's largest insurer.