Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Regulators OK Aetna plan to buy Phoenix company

U.S. antitrust officials on Wednesday gave the green light to health insurer Aetna Inc.'s plan to acquire Phoenix-based Schaller Anderson Inc. for $535 million.

The deal, announced May 24, would see the 1,800-employee managed-care company keeping its headquarters in Phoenix and becoming part of Aetna's efforts to expand the Medicaid side of its business.

"(The approval) is another milestone that gets us closer to the closing, and we're pleased that it went through," Aetna spokesman Fred Laberge said. "We think there's definite value to the Schaller Anderson name within the Medicaid business."

The deal is expected to close in the third quarter. Both companies have said they do not plan to cut employees as a result of the acquisition.

Whether Schaller Anderson will retain its name or take on a new one has not been decided, Laberge said.

Schaller Anderson was started in 1986 and provides managed services for Medicaid plans. It was recently named one of the fastest-growing inner-city firms by Inc. magazine. via

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