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Aetna to acquire benefits consultant Bswift for $400M

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Aetna Inc. announced on Monday that it will acquire Bswift L.L.C., a privately owned Chicago-based employee benefits consultant and technology provider, for approximately $400 million.

The deal is expected to close by the end of the year, pending regulatory approval.

In a statement released on Monday, Aetna chairman, president and CEO Mark Bertolini said the acquisition would help Aetna broaden its presence in the private health insurance exchange marketplace.

“Bswift's consumer-friendly technology for benefits shopping and administration is an excellent fit with our proprietary exchange strategy,” said Mr. Bertolini. “With more employers giving employees their choice of benefits via private exchanges, Bswift's technology platform will provide Aetna with the capability to deliver a new private-exchange offering for employers of all sizes where the focus is on helping people easily choose a plan that's right for them and their families.”

Bswift will retain its current staff and executives, and continue to operate under its existing brand name, according to Aetna's statement.

“Aetna will help expand the reach of our technology and benefits services with a goal of creating a true consumer marketplace for health care,” Bswift CEO Rich Gallun said in the statement.