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Insurer Aetna to close Coventry purchase next week

The Associated Press

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) -- Aetna Inc. said Friday that it should wrap up its acquisition of smaller health insurer Coventry Health Care Inc. within three business days.

Aetna, one of the country's biggest insurers with about 38.3 million customers, said last year that it would pay $5.7 billion for Coventry.

Coventry, which is based in Bethesda, Md., provides commercial health insurance as well as offering or administering government plans. Those include Medicaid for poor and disabled people and Medicare Advantage for the elderly.

Aetna, headquartered in Hartford, Conn., said Friday that it still is projecting the deal will add slightly to its operating earnings per share this year. Aetna expects the deal to boost operating earnings per share by 45 cents in 2014 and by 90 cents in 2015.

In a statement, Aetna said that shortly after the transaction closes, it will provide detailed projections on its effects in 2013, including any synergies and the impact on earnings per share.