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Shareholders approve merger of Aetna, Humana

Shareholders approve merger of Aetna, Humana

Shareholders of Aetna Inc. and Humana Inc. on Monday overwhelmingly approved the companies' proposed $37 billion merger of the rival health insurers.

Ninety-nine percent of shareholders at both companies voted separately to approve the deal. Aetna shareholders approved the issuance of up to 127 million common shares to Humana stockholders, who in turn voted to adopt the terms of the merger agreement with Aetna, finalized in July.

“We're extremely pleased that the shareholders of both Aetna and Humana have overwhelmingly approved proposals related to our pending Humana acquisition,” Aetna's Chairman and CEO Mark Bertolini said in a statement emailed to Business Insurance.

The proposed merger still must meet the approval of state insurance and federal antitrust regulators before the two companies can begin integrating their operations. Executives for both companies have maintained that they expect the deal to close in the second half of 2016.

“The complementary combination of our companies brings together Humana's leadership and expertise in the Medicare Advantage business with Aetna's strengths in the large commercial health insurance business,” Mr. Bertolini said in his statement. “The acquisition will enable us to offer more consumers a broader choice of products, access to higher quality and more affordable care, and a better overall experience in more geographic locations across the country.”

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