US-based Aetna has signed an agreement to acquire health insurance firm Humana, for around $37bn in cash and stock.
Under the deal, Humana stockholders will secure $125.00 in cash and 0.8375 Aetna common shares for each Humana share.
In the combined company, Aetna’s shareholders will own around 74% interest and Humana’s shareholders will own the remaining 26%stake.
Aetna chairman and CEO Mark Bertolini said: "The acquisition of Humana aligns two great companies and will significantly advance our strategy of more effectively serving members in a rapidly changing health care industry.
"This combination will allow us to continue to invest in excellent service for our members and strengthen our partnerships with providers to deliver high quality care at an affordable price."
Through its different subsidiaries, Humana provides medical insurance products and services and non-medical insurance products and services.
Humana offers individual insurance, including medical coverage, health insurance, dental insurance, and vision insurance.
Humana president and CEO Bruce Broussard said: "Aetna and Humana share a strong commitment to improving the health and well-being of consumers, whatever their needs and wherever they are on their lifelong health journey."
Subject to customary closing conditions, including the approval by Humana stockholders of the merger agreement, the deal is expected to complete in the second half of 2016.
Aetna provides a wide range of traditional, voluntary and consumer-directed health insurance products and related services.
Image: Aetna building in Hartford, Connecticut. Photo: courtesy of Sage Ross.