LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini is optimistic the merged healthcare company will remain one of Louisville's top employers as the company moves forward with plans to acquire Humana.
On a conference call Monday, Aetna and Humana executives confirmed again that Louisville will remain the headquarters for the government operations of the new healthcare giant.
Aetna, based in Hartford, CT, said it will keep Humana's Louisville headquarters as the base for its Medicare, Medicaid and military Tricare businesses.
Humana employs more than 13,000 people in Louisville. Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini said there may even be an increase in the number of jobs in the Louisville market.
"Louisville will be an important site for us, and we anticipate, given the size of the revenue, that will be in that location," Bertolini said. "We will at least maintain employment, if not increase it.
Executives also said the new company will take on the Humana brand.
Jobs are expected to remain in place until the Aetna-Humana deal closes in the second half of 2016.
"We have said that the Louisville headquarters will be headquarters for all of our government business going forward," Bertolini said. "They're very capable people, very capable leadership, and it is our anticipation that that leadership will go forward in managing these businesses."
Aetna announced early Friday that it would buy Humana for $37 billion.
The deal would create the second-largest managed care company.
CNBC says the deal has been unanimously approved by the board of directors of both companies.
According to the Associated Press, the purchase price includes a combination of cash and stock worth about $230 per share.