Health Insurer Cigna to Buy Express Scripts For About $54 Billion

(From Reuters)

U.S. health insurer Cigna Corp (CI.N) said on Thursday it would buy pharmacy benefits manager Express Scripts Holding Co (ESRX.O) for about $54 billion, the latest deal in the sector aimed at cutting soaring healthcare costs.

The transaction is valued at $67 billion, including about $15 billion in Express Scripts’ debt, the company said.

A deal between Cigna and Express Scripts follows the $69 billion merger of health insurer Aetna Inc (AET.N) and drugstore chain CVS Health Corp (CVS.N), reflecting a sector-wide move toward vertical consolidation, in which companies do not directly overlap operations.

The deals will allow companies to integrate pharmacy and medical claims and increase preventative services in clinics.

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