HARTFORD, Conn., October 7, 2005 — Aetna Inc. (NYSE: ΑET) announced today that certain trusts established by John W. Rowe, M.D., the company’s chairman and CEO, intend to exercise, beginning in February 2006, a portion of the employee stock options granted to Dr. Rowe. The shares will be sold in accordance with Rule 10b5-1 under the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934, and the company’s policies with respect to insider sales.
Rule 10b5-1 permits officers and directors of public companies to adopt predetermined plans for selling specified amounts of stock. The plans may be entered into when the director or officer is not in possession of material, nonpublic information and may be used to gradually diversify investment portfolios over a period of time.
Under prior 10b5-1 plans adopted beginning in September 2003, Dr. Rowe began systematically to exercise stock options and sell shares as part of his personal financial planning. Dr. Rowe also previously established grantor-retained annuity trusts ("GRATs") and transferred Aetna stock options into the trusts. This is a common financial and tax strategy used by executives and allowed by the IRS. The GRATs are now entering into 10b5-1 plans to exercise additional stock options and sell those shares.
The total number of Aetna options to be exercised and shares to be sold under the new 10b5-1 plans, beginning in February 2006, is approximately 450,000, or about 11.5 percent of Dr. Rowe’s current Aetna holdings. As Dr. Rowe has received new stock options in recent years, exercises and sales under Rule 10b5-1 plans have not resulted in a significant reduction of his overall share count.
As one of the nation’s leading providers of health care, dental, pharmacy, group life, disability and long-term care benefits, Aetna puts information and helpful resources to work for its approximately 14.435 million medical members, 12.976 million dental members, 9.117 million pharmacy members and 13.662 million group insurance members to help them make better informed decisions about their health care and protect their finances against health-related risks. Aetna provides easy access to cost-effective health care through a nationwide network of more than 684,000 health care professionals, including over 405,000 primary care and specialist doctors and 4,135 hospitals. For more information, please visit www.aetna.com. (Figures as of June 30, 2005)