(Bloomberg) -- Anthem Inc. struck a deal to buy rival Cigna Corp. for $48.4 billion, wrapping up almost a year of contentious negotiations and potentially creating the largest health insurer in the U.S.

Anthem will pay $188 a share in cash and stock for Cigna, it said in a statement, confirming reports Wednesday that the companies were near an agreement. That’s a 22 percent premium to Cigna’s closing price of $154.36 on Thursday.

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