Anthem-Cigna Fight Over Failed Merger Ends in a Draw -- Update
By Anna Wilde Mathews and Peg Brickley
Cigna Corp. and Anthem Inc. won't have to pay damages to one
another over their failed $48 billion merger deal, a Delaware judge
decided Monday, potentially resolving a bitter, yearslong legal
battle that had the two insurance giants trading accusations of
In dueling lawsuits, each of the health-insurance giants sought
billions of dollars in damages from the other. Both companies
argued that its erstwhile partner had sabotaged their proposed
combination, which foundered in 2017 after court rulings against
the merger on antitrust grounds. Cigna wanted damages of $14.7
billion, along with a breakup fee of about $1.8 billion, from
Anthem. Anthem sought damages of $21.1 billion from Cigna.
Vice Chancellor J. Travis Laster, of the Delaware Chancery
Court, wrote that Anthem had sought to complete the merger and
"chose a sound strategy and took all of the actions necessary and
appropriate to pursue it." Cigna, he said, had breached its
obligation to try to consummate the deal: "Rather than seeking to
complete the Merger, Cigna sought to derail it," he wrote.
Calling the drama a "corporate soap opera," Judge Laster
attached blame to both sides. Cigna proved that it was likely that
the deal would have been blocked regardless of its actions, he
wrote. In the end, "each party must bear the losses it suffered as
a result of their star-crossed venture."
Shares of Cigna were off 2.2% in trading on the New York Stock
Exchange, while shares of Anthem were up 1.6%.
Write to Anna Wilde Mathews at firstname.lastname@example.org and Peg
Brickley at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
August 31, 2020 16:33 ET (20:33 GMT)
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