RADNOR, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The law firm of Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check, LLP announces that a shareholder class action lawsuit has been filed against Aetna Inc. (NYSE: AET) (“Aetna” or the “Company”) on behalf of purchasers of the Company’s securities between August 15, 2016 and January 20, 2017, inclusive (the “Class Period”).
Aetna shareholders who purchased their securities during the Class Period may, no later than March 27, 2017, petition the Court to be appointed as a lead plaintiff representative of the class.
Shareholders who wish to discuss this action or request additional information about the lawsuit are encouraged to contact Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check attorneys D. Seamus Kaskela or Adrienne O. Bell at (888) 299-7706 or online at: https://www.ktmc.com/new-cases/aetna-inc#join
Aetna is one of the largest health care benefit companies in the United States. In July 2015, Aetna entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the health care benefit company Humana Inc. (“Humana”). In July 2016, the U.S. Department of Justice (the “DOJ”) and others filed a complaint against Aetna and Humana in Federal Court maintaining that the proposed Humana acquisition would violate antitrust laws, and seeking a permanent injunction to prevent the acquisition from closing.
On January 23, 2017, Judge John D. Bates of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia entered a Memorandum Opinion enjoining the proposed merger between Aetna and Humana after finding that, among other things, Aetna “tried to leverage its participation in the exchanges for favorable treatment from DOJ regarding the proposed merger” by threatening to reduce its Public Exchange participation in 2017 and beyond if the “DOJ sues to enjoin the transaction.”
On this news, shares of Aetna’s stock declined $3.33 per share, or 2.7%, to close on January 23, 2017 at $119.20 per share, on heavy trading volume. The following day the Company’s shares declined an additional $1.59 per share, to close on January 24, 2017 at $117.61 per share.
The complaint alleges that Aetna and certain of its executive officers violated the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 by making false and/or misleading statements and/or failing to disclose that: (1) the Company and its senior executives attempted to leverage Aetna's participation in the Public Exchanges for favorable treatment from regulators regarding the Humana acquisition; (2) the Company threatened to limit its participation in public health insurance exchanges if the DOJ attempted to block the merger; (3) Aetna did not withdraw from certain public health insurance exchanges for business reasons as Defendants claimed, but to follow through on its threat of leaving the marketplace once the DOJ filed suit and to improve its litigation position; (4) Aetna withdrew from public health insurance exchanges that were profitable for the Company; and (5) as a result of the foregoing, Defendants' statements about Aetna's business, operations, and prospects were false and misleading and/or lacked a reasonable basis.
Aetna shareholders may, no later than March 27, 2017, petition the Court to be appointed as a lead plaintiff representative of the class through Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check or other counsel, or may choose to do nothing and remain an absent class member. A lead plaintiff is a representative party who acts on behalf of all class members in directing the litigation. In order to be appointed as a lead plaintiff, the Court must determine that the class member’s claim is typical of the claims of other class members, and that the class member will adequately represent the class in the action. Your ability to share in any recovery is not affected by the decision of whether or not to serve as a lead plaintiff. For additional information, or to learn how to participate in this action, please visit https://www.ktmc.com/new-cases/aetna-inc#join
Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check prosecutes class actions in state and federal courts throughout the country. Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check is a driving force behind corporate governance reform, and has recovered billions of dollars on behalf of institutional and individual investors from the United States and around the world. The firm represents investors, consumers and whistleblowers (private citizens who report fraudulent practices against the government and share in the recovery of government dollars). The complaint in this action was not filed by Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check. For more information about Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check, please visit www.ktmc.com.