via Wall Street Journal
Health insurers continued their mating dances, with giants Anthem Inc. and Cigna Corp. rekindling their talks to combine, and smaller Centene Corp. agreeing to buy Health Net Inc. for around $6.3 billion.
Representatives of Anthem and Cigna met this past Friday and Tuesday to discuss a potential tie-up, said people familiar with the matter. They said a deal could be reached in coming weeks, though there is no guarantee the latest round of talks will result in a merger.
Anthem has been trying to combine with Cigna for nearly a year, but the two companies have struggled to agree on price and other terms, including who would run the combined company. Last month, in an attempt to woo Cigna shareholders, Anthem made public an offer of $47.5 billion, which Cigna publicly spurned.
The talks are part of a flurry of discussions among the top five health insurers aimed at striking deals that will enable them to be more competitive in a health-care landscape dramatically altered by the Affordable Care Act and other developments..
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