HARTFORD, Conn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–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.