Health insurer Aetna is reportedly nearing the acquisition of Humana, according to a Bloomberg report on Thursday. The deal could close as early as this weekend, the news outlet reported, citing unnamed sources. (Tweet this)
Shares of Humana rallied more than 8 percent after trading was briefly halted for volatility.
Aetna made a formal bid for the health insurance company this week, Bloomberg reported, in a cash and stock offer, but no agreement has been reached yet. Humana is currently valued at $28 billion and has received another offer from Cigna, the report continued.
Humana is especially attractive because of its 3.2 million Medicare Advantage members, Bloomberg reported.
"Medicare Advantage is a coveted space," Michael Bernstein, a partner at Baird Capital's U.S. private equity team who focuses on health care, told Bloomberg. "To develop a similar scale in Medicare would take a great deal of work and time, which would be bypassed by making that transaction happen."
Aetna declined to comment to CNBC.