Health Net Likely Target for Takeover by Aetna, Cigna, Analyst Says
More health insurance company mergers are expected by the end of the year, with Woodland Hills-based Health Net being a likely acquisition target, the Los Angeles Times reports.
According to Banc of America Securities analyst Joseph France, the most likely buyers of Health Net are Connecticut-based Aetna and Philadelphia-based Cigna.
Health Net's 2.3 million members would provide Aetna with a strong presence in California, and access to Aetna's provider networks in the Northeast would reduce hospital costs that have affected Health Net's financial performance, France said.
An acquisition by Cigna also would "make sense," according to France.
In his report, France stated that he had no "exclusive insight" and that he was not "trying to play matchmaker or put companies into play."
Health Net spokesperson David Olsen said there have been "persistent rumors all year" about a possible acquisition but would not comment more specifically. "We've got our nose to the grindstone," he said.
Officials for Aetna declined to comment, and Cigna officials did not return calls, according to the Times (Vrana, Los Angeles Times, 10/1).