Anthem Gets $26.5B Funding Commitment For Cigna Takeover

Anthem’s bid to become the largest health insurer in history is setting up one of the biggest debt offerings backing a takeover.

According to a regulatory filing, ¬†Anthem has received financing commitments as high as 26.5 billion to finance their $48.4 billion purchase of Cigna Corp. That puts the size of the funding up in the big leagues, now comparable to the amounts of money attained acquiring Time Warner Cable. With this merge, Anthem is poised to become one of seven companies who have tapped the bond market for at least $10 billion to finance takeovers this year (Bloomberg). Quoted directly from Indianapolis Business Journal, “More than $149 billion of bonds backing takeovers have been sold in 2015 after a record $160 billion of the debt was issued last year.” It is expected that the takeover will close in the second half of 2016, pending regulatory approval.

Kristin Binns, a spokeswoman for Indianapolis-based Anthem has not extended her comments on the matter.

So what does this acquisition mean for the health-care industry? It could potentially reduce the ranks of the biggest insurers from 5 to 3. Anthem and Cigna together would possess approximately 53 million members. This extends beyond the numbers of UnitedHealth Group Inc., whom is currently the largest U.S. health insurer. Anthem’s deal will be valued at around $54.2 billion, when taking into consideration assumed debt.

These aren’t the only changes though. “Aetna Inc. agreed to buy Humana Inc. for $35 billion earlier this month, a day after Centene Corp. struck a $6.3 billion deal for Health Net Inc.” (Indianapolis Business Journal) These mergers are being driving by the help of Obama’s 2010 health-care changes. Obama’s earlier overhaul not only is imposing tougher rules, but has also placed limits on the industry’s profits.