Global health service provider Cigna Corp. is acquiring Express Scripts Holding Co. in a deal valued at $67 billion.

The stock and cash transaction includes Cigna’s assumption of about $15 billion in debt held by Express Scripts. Upon closing, Cigna shareholders will own about 64 per cent of the combined company and Express Scripts shareholders will own the remainder.

The transaction is expected to be completed by Dec. 31, 2018. Until closing, both Cigna and Express Scripts will continue to operate as independent companies. However, the combined company will be called Cigna and will be headquartered at its current headquarters in Bloomfield, Ct. Express Scripts will be headquartered in St. Louis, Mo.

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“Cigna’s acquisition of Express Scripts brings together two complementary customer-centric services companies, well-positioned to drive greater quality and affordability for customers,” said David Cordani, president and chief executive officer of Cigna, in a news release. “This combination accelerates Cigna’s enterprise mission of improving the health, well-being and sense of security of those we serve, and in turn, expanding the breadth of services for our customers, partners, clients, health plans and communities.

“Together, we will create an expanded portfolio of health services, delivering greater consumer choice, closer alignment between the customer and health-care provider and more personalized value. This combination will create significant benefits to society and differentiated shareholder value.”

Following closing, Cordani will lead the new company in the role of president and chief executive officer, while Tim Wentworth, current president and chief executive officer of Express Scripts, will maintain his role.

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“Together, our two organizations will help make the healthiest choices the easiest choices, putting health and pharmacy services within reach of everyone we serve,” said Wentworth. “Adding our company’s leadership in pharmacy and medical benefit management, technology-powered clinical solutions and specialized patient care model to Cigna’s track record of delivering value through innovation, we are positioned to transform health care.

“We will continue to have a distinct focus at Express Scripts and eviCore on partnering with health plans and together, build tailored solutions for health plans and their members. Importantly, this agreement is a testament to the work of our team and their resolute focus on providing the best care to patients and the most value to clients.”

Since Express Scripts Canada is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the U.S.-based company, it’s safe to assume it will be included in the acquisition, according to a spokesperson.

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Copyright © 2018 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on benefitscanada.com

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