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CIGNA CORPORATION

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CIGNA : Court Issues Temporary Order Keeping Cigna From Terminating Merger With Anthem

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02/16/2017 | 09:32am EST
By Brent Kendall 

A Delaware judge on Wednesday issued a temporary restraining order that blocks Cigna Corp. from immediately terminating its troubled $48 billion merger with rival health insurer Anthem Inc.

The development is the latest in what could be a long and bitter legal battle between the two companies in the wake of a federal judge's ruling earlier this month that the proposed merger violates U.S. antitrust law.

Cigna on Tuesday declared it was done with the merger and sued Anthem, seeking a $1.85 billion breakup fee plus more than $13 billion in damages from its deal partner. Anthem then responded with its own lawsuit and sought an immediate order stopping Cigna from ending their pact.

Anthem obtained such an order Wednesday from Vice Chancellor J. Travis Laster, a judge on the Delaware Chancery Court, according to a Thursday filing by Cigna with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Under the terms of the merger agreement, Anthem could extend the deal until the end of April. The firm is making a long-shot bid to win a quick appeal of U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson's ruling that the merger would unlawfully harm consumers and competition.

Both Anthem and Cigna have accused one another of violating their 2015 merger deal. Cigna said Anthem's alleged violations meant it couldn't extend the merger agreement until April. Anthem said Cigna has been engaged in a campaign to sink the deal.

Cigna in a statement said, "This is not a decision on the merits of the case, but rather a procedural order to ensure irrevocable actions do not take place before the court's substantive review of the issues. Cigna respects the court's decision and will continue to abide by terms of the merger agreement until the court further reviews the case."

The insurer said another hearing will be scheduled the week of April 10.

Anthem didn't respond to a request for comment on the restraining order.

Write to Brent Kendall at brent.kendall@wsj.com

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
ANTHEM INC 0.14% 312 Delayed Quote.18.64%
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Financials ($)
Sales 2019 133 B
EBIT 2019 8 618 M
Net income 2019 5 320 M
Debt 2019 33 568 M
Yield 2019 0,02%
P/E ratio 2019 13,57
P/E ratio 2020 12,95
EV / Sales 2019 0,82x
EV / Sales 2020 0,73x
Capitalization 75 345 M
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Income Statement Evolution
Consensus
 
Mean consensus OUTPERFORM
Number of Analysts 22
Average target price 240 $
Spread / Average Target 21%
EPS Revisions
Managers
NameTitle
David Michael Cordani President, Chief Executive Officer & Director
Isaiah Harris Independent Chairman
Eric P. Palmer Chief Financial Officer & Executive Vice President
Mark L. Boxer Global Chief Information Officer & Executive VP
Steven B. Miller Chief Clinical Officer
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CIGNA CORPORATION-12.35%75 345
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ANTHEM INC18.64%80 588
CIGNA CORP4.19%75 345
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