July has been a busy month of large-scale mergers and acquisitions in the healthcare services providers industry and some investors anticipated those deals as highlighted by the modest inflows to the iShares U.S. Healthcare Providers ETF (NYSEArca: IHF) and the equal-weight SPDR S&P Health Care Services ETF (NYSEArca: XHS).
Anthem (NYSE: ANTM) said Friday it will buy rival Cigna (NYSE: CI) for $54.2 billion, creating the largest health insurance provider in the U.S. That deal was announced two and a half weeks after Aetna (NYSE: AET) said it will acquire smaller rival Humana (NYSE: HUM) for $37 billion in cash and stock, a combination that, when announced, was expected to create the second-largest health insurance provider.
For weeks, investors and the financial media have been expecting a wave of consolidation that could see marriages among some of IHF’s largest holdings. Earlier this week, Cigna (NYSE: CI) rejected a $47 billion takeover offer from Anthem (NYSE: ANTM). Dow component UnitedHealth (NYSE: UNH) has made overtures for Aetna. [More M&A Coming for This Healthcare ETF]
With the aforementioned marriages announced, two of IHF’s top 10 holdings will be absorbed. Cigna, Anthem, Aetna and Humana combined for almost 23% of the ETF’s weight at the start of trading today. Dow component UnitedHealth (NYSE: UNH) is IHF’s largest holding at a weight of nearly 12.1%.
Investors added nearly $43 million to IHF this month as of July 23 and $13.1 million to XHS.