Offers Retail Shopping Experience for Health Insurance Exchanges and Employers
HARTFORD, Conn. – Aetna (NYSE:AET) today announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire privately held bswift, which provides a technology platform that offers a retail shopping experience for health insurance exchanges and employers nationwide. Additionally, bswift offers benefits administration technology and services to employers.
The purchase price is approximately $400 million, which Aetna expects to finance with available resources. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including Hart-Scott-Rodino antitrust regulatory approval. The acquisition is expected to close before the end of the year. As financed, the transaction is expected to be neutral to 2014 and 2015 operating earnings per share.
"Bswift's consumer-friendly technology for benefits shopping and administration is an excellent fit with our proprietary exchange strategy," said Mark T. Bertolini, Aetna chairman, CEO and president. "With more employers giving employees their choice of benefits via private exchanges, bswift's technology platform will provide Aetna with the capability to deliver a new private-exchange offering for employers of all sizes where the focus is on helping people easily choose a plan that's right for them and their families."
Dijuana Lewis, Aetna's executive vice president for Consumer Products and Enterprise Marketing, added, "Selecting a health plan is an important decision and bswift's consumer shopping, buying, enrolling and decision-support features will help simplify what can be a confusing experience. This acquisition will help Aetna advance our consumer vision to transform the health benefits industry to a retail model that is consumer-centric, affordable and convenient."
The software and services provided by bswift help streamline benefits, HR and payroll administration for employers and health insurance exchanges nationwide. Bswift's technology platform includes buying assistance and education features to help people make informed and personalized benefits choices, including an "Ask Emma" interactive decision support tool.
"We at bswift are thrilled to become a part of Aetna at such a pivotal time in the transformation of the health care system. Together, bswift and Aetna can contribute to more affordable health care by engaging, educating and empowering consumers to make value-based decisions," said bswift CEO Rich Gallun. "Aetna will help expand the reach of our technology and benefits services with a goal of creating a true consumer marketplace for health care. We look forward to continuing the growth of our core business with employers, brokers, carriers and other organizations, in addition to adding more business by working with Aetna."
Based in Chicago, bswift was founded in 2000 and has approximately 380 employees. Bswift has experience in handling public, private and broker exchanges and serving employer groups of all sizes. Bswift is currently owned by its employees and numerous investors, including Great Hill Partners, a private equity firm.
Bswift will operate as a separate business within Aetna under its existing leadership structure.
Aetna is one of the nation’s leading diversified health care benefits companies, serving an estimated 46 million people with information and resources to help them make better informed decisions about their health care. Aetna offers a broad range of traditional, voluntary and consumer-directed health insurance products and related services, including medical, pharmacy, dental, behavioral health, group life and disability plans, and medical management capabilities, Medicaid health care management services, workers’ compensation administrative services and health information technology products and services. Aetna’s customers include employer groups, individuals, college students, part-time and hourly workers, health plans, health care providers, governmental units, government-sponsored plans, labor groups and expatriates. For more information, see www.aetna.com.
Based in Chicago, bswift offers software and services that streamline benefits, HR and payroll administration for employers and exchanges nationwide. Bswift's state-of-the-art cloud-based technology and outsourcing solutions and Springboard Marketplace exchange platform significantly reduce administrative costs and time-consuming paperwork, making life easier for administrators and millions of consumers who enroll in benefits with bswift. For more information, visit www.bswift.com and check out the bswift blog at www.bswift.com/blog.
Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements – Certain statements in this news release are forward-looking, including Aetna's projections as to the financing of the pending acquisition, the closing date for the pending acquisition, the impact of the pending acquisition on Aetna's operating earnings per share, the anticipated benefits of the pending acquisition to Aetna, the capabilities that bswift will provide to Aetna, the impact of bswift's technology on the consumer's experience in selecting and enrolling in a health benefits plan, and the transformation of the health benefits industry; and bswift's projections as to the impact of the pending acquisition on the affordability of health care, the anticipated benefits of the pending acquisition to bswift and the growth of bswift's core business. Forward-looking statements are only predictions; are based on management's estimates, assumptions and projections; and are subject to significant known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, many of which are beyond Aetna's and bswift's control. Important risk factors could cause actual future results and other future events to differ materially from those currently estimated by management, including, but not limited to: the availability of adequate financing on acceptable terms; a downgrade in Aetna's financial ratings; the timing to consummate the proposed acquisition; the risk that a condition to closing of the proposed acquisition may not be satisfied; the risk that a regulatory approval that may be required for the proposed acquisition is delayed, is not obtained or is obtained subject to conditions that are not anticipated; Aetna's ability to promptly and effectively integrate bswift's businesses, including key employee retention risk, while simultaneously integrating Coventry, the InterGlobal group and other businesses Aetna may acquire in the future; the diversion of management time on acquisition-related issues; the post-closing performance of the bswift business; and fewer employers offering employees benefit choices via private health benefits exchanges than Aetna projects. For more discussion of important risk factors that may materially affect Aetna, please see the risk factors contained in Aetna’s 2013 Annual Report on Form 10-K (“Aetna’s 2013 Annual Report”) on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”). You also should read Aetna's 2013 Annual Report and Aetna’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2014, on file with the SEC, for a discussion of Aetna's historical results of operations and financial condition.
No assurances can be given that any of the events anticipated by the forward-looking statements will transpire or occur, or if any of them do occur, what impact they will have on Aetna's results of operations, financial condition or cash flows. Aetna assumes no duty to update or revise forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, as of any future date.
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