US: Anthem refuses to pay out $1.8 billion for failed merger

After a court ruling in Delaware, Anthem has notified Cigna that their proposed $54 billion merger is off, but that doesn’t mean the two insurance companies are amicably parting ways.

Anthem has stated that it will not pay Cigna a $1.85 billion merger termination fee due to the company’s belief that Cigna did not meet the legal requirements for receiving the money.

“In light of yesterday’s decision and Cigna’s refusal to support the merger, however, Anthem has delivered to Cigna a notice terminating the Merger Agreement,” Anthem said in a statement.

“Cigna has failed to perform and comply in all material respects with its contractual obligations. As a result, Cigna is not entitled to a termination fee.”

Going on offense, Anthem blamed Cigna for “repeated willful breaches of the Merger Agreement,” and a “successful sabotage,” of its brand and business. Anthem further claimed the doomed acquisition resulted in massive damages which they plan to “vigorously pursue.”

In a counter-statement from Cigna, the insurer claimed Anthem willfully failed to pursue all legal avenues to obtain regulatory approval of the merger, and demanded the “prompt payment of the $1.85 billion reverse termination fee.”

This fee is in addition to a current $13 billion lawsuit for damages against Anthem for alleged harm that it caused Cigna and its shareholders.

Anthem and Cigna have been in legal disputes with each other since the US Justice Department won its antitrust case to block the merger of the two health insurers.

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