Coventry Takeover Doesn’t Help Rivals’ Stocks

Aetna Inc.’s agreement to buy Coventry Health Care Inc. for $7.3 billion likely means it won’t make other large deals while it focuses on integrating Coventry.

Aetna’s Chief Financial Officer Joseph Zubretsky said on a conference call that Aetna’s “highest priority” would be to close the Coventry deal and integrate it, rather than making more large acquisitions.

“We’re not completely out of the game,” he said. “We could do small, discrete acquisitions if we chose to.”

The Aetna deal is the biggest takeover of a managed care company since President Barack Obama expanded government medical coverage by signing the Affordable Care Act into law in 2010, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. There have been four U.S. healthcare deals worth more than $1 billion since then, the data show, including Well- Point Inc.’s agreement to purchase Amerigroup Corp. for $4.9 billion.

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