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August 21, 2019updated 22 Aug 2019 6:57am

Cigna looking to divest group benefits insurance operation

American health insurance major Cigna is reportedly planning to offload its group benefits insurance business. The deal could fetch as much as $6bn.

The group benefits insurance business provides disability insurance, life, accidental death as well as dismemberment insurance to employees.

According to Reuters, Cigna has hired an undisclosed investment bank to manage an auction for the group benefits business.

Insurance companies, which already offer similar products and services or those planning to boost their group benefits insurance, are expected to participate in the auction.

A Cigna spokesman told the news agency: “Given the dynamic marketplace, we continually review opportunities to ensure we continue to deliver value to our customers and clients.”

Part of disability and other operations division, Cigna’s group benefits business reported $1.31bn of adjusted revenue in the three months to 30 June. The business put on sale serves 15.4 million customers.

The move is said to be part of the company’s plan to sharpen its focus on healthcare business. As part of this strategy, Cigna acquired Brighter in December 2017.

Santa Monica-based Brighter operates as an Internet and healthcare company that connects dentists, patients and dental insurers.

Subsequently, Cigna snapped up pharmacy benefits manager Express Scripts Holding last year in a $54bn deal.

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