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Cigna shares spike on Anthem takeover report

Cigna shares spiked in extended trading Wednesday on reports that Anthem was closing in on a deal to buy its smaller peer.

Anthem is nearing an agreement to take over Cigna for $187 per share, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday, citing sources. A deal could be announced as soon as Thursday, sources told the publication.

Cigna shares rose more than 6 percent in the after-hours session. The stock closed Wednesday at about $151.

Anthem has made multiple bids for Cigna this year as merger attempts have stirred across the health-care sector. The Journal has also reported on possible attempts by Aetna to take over Humana in recent months.

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Cigna did not immediately respond to CNBC's request to comment.