Aetna to auction $1B in assets

Hartford, Conn.-based Aetna will auction a portfolio of its Medicare Advantage assets in hopes of soothing antitrust concerns over its pending merger with Louisville, Ky.-based Humana, Reuters reported.

The auction comes as the insurer requests antitrust approval for its $37 billion acquisition of Humana. If approved, Aetna and Humana's combined Medicare Advantage business would be the U.S.'s largest manager of health insurance for seniors and the disabled. Aetna hopes the sale will assuage antitrust concerns, Reuters reported.

The insurer will start collecting bids next week, and already sent out pitchbooks to possible buyers. The sale may take several months, and its effect on antitrust approval is uncertain. The assets are expected to be valued around $1 billion, according to the report.

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