Aetna expands Asia footprint with Bupa Thailand acquisition

Aetna, the NYSE-listed Hartford, Connecticut-based health insurance provider, is looking to expand its international footprint in Asia, following the acquisition of Bupa Thailand. 

The price and other details of the acquisition weren’t given. The deal closed at the end of July.

In a statement, Aetna noted that the acquisition would “significantly increase Aetna’s presence in Asia”, and that it saw the move as key to the company’s strategy to “go ‘broader and deeper’ into local health care markets”.

“Aetna’s expertise, coupled with Bupa Thailand’s in-depth knowledge of the local health care system and culture, will ultimately offer customers in Thailand broader choice and continue to build on Bupa Thailand’s first-rate service,” the statement continues.

Richard di Benedetto, president of Aetna International, added: “This is a significant and exciting expansion for Aetna in Asia, and clearly demonstrates our commitment to investment and growth in the region and globally.

“Thailand is an important market for us, with increasing local wealth driving greater adoption of health insurance.

“Aetna’s wide product portfolio, together with an excellent talent and knowledge base transferring from Bupa, will put us in a very strong position in the local market.”

Thirty years in Thailand 

Bupa established its Thai outpost more than 30 years ago, and according to Aetna, it is now Thailand’s “leading specialist health insurer”, with more than 300,000 members and a network of more than 400 health care providers in the country. It is headquartered in Bangkok, and has 17 other offices in the country, according to its website. 

Bupa Thailand “will continue to operate under the Bupa brand for a short time before rebranding as Aetna”, Aetna said, without saying how long this might be.

As reported, Aetna International announced a major expansion into the Canadian market in March, beginning with the opening of an office in Toronto. At the time, the company said it would look to offer Aetna International’s “fully compliant international health insurance plans [to] expatriate clients, whether coming into Canada or moving abroad”.

In 2014 Aetna acquired a major, Asia- and Middle East-focused rival in the international sector, UK-based InterGlobal.

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