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INDIANAPOLIS-Executives at Acordia Inc. last week would not comment on rumors that management is in the process of buying out the broker's property/casualty operations from its parent, Anthem Insurance Cos. Inc.
Acordia's future was a hot topic among brokers attending the National Assn. of Insurance Brokers' annual meeting in Phoenix last week, especially after Frank C. Witthun, Acordia's president and chief executive officer, left the three-day conference a day early.
That same day, Anthem, which owns 67% of Acordia's outstanding common stock, announced it could purchase the publicly owned shares of Acordia that it does not currently own. Anthem also said it was in discussions with a third party regarding the possible sale of Acordia's brokerage business, and also was in discussions regarding the possible reorganization of Acordia's health care business.
Approximately half of the world's fifth-largest broker's $661 million in 1996 revenues was derived from property/casualty insurance brokerage. The remainder of the firm's revenues came from the sale and servicing of Anthem's health insurance products.
Anthem, an Indianapolis-based mutual life and health insurer, retained Credit Suisse First Boston in February to explore the possible sale of Acordia's brokerage business and a possible reorganization of its health care business (BI, Feb. 10).
Anthem recently has focused exclusively on health and managed care business and has generally sold its non-health care operations.
The day after Anthem's announcement last week, Acordia's stock price jumped $1.25 to $35.875. The stock closed at the same level on Friday.