Anthem acquiring rival Cigna in $54.2 billion deal

FILE - In this Feb. 5, 2015 file photo, the Anthem logo hangs at the health insurer's corporate headquarters in Indianapolis. Insurers aren't required to encrypt consumers' data under a 1990s federal law that remains the foundation for health care privacy in the Internet age _ a striking omission in light of the cyberattack against Anthem, the nation's second-largest health insurer. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy, File)

NEW YORK (AP) – Anthem is buying rival Cigna in a deal valued at $54.2 billion that will create the nation’s largest health insurer by enrollment, covering about 53 million patients in the U.S.

The deal comes just three weeks after the insurer Aetna bid $35 billion for Humana in a buyout frenzy that will transform five massive U.S. health companies into three even larger ones.

Shareholders of Cigna, based in Bloomfield, Connecticut, will receive $103.40 per share in cash and 0.5152 shares of Anthem stock for each of their shares. The companies put the total value at $188 per share. The deal is targeted to close in the second half of 2016.

Anthem, based in Indianapolis, has pursued Cigna aggressively for months.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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