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Health insurer Cigna to buy Express Scripts for about $54 billion


(Reuters) - U.S. insurer Corp said on Thursday it would buy Holding Co for about $54 billion, the latest deal in the sector aimed at cutting soaring

Cigna's offer consists of $48.75 in cash and 0.2434 shares of stock of the combined company for each share, amounting to $96.03 per share, representing a premium of nearly 31 percent to Express Scripts' Wednesday closing price.

shares were up 18.5 percent at $87.00, while shares were down 5 percent at $184.50.

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

A deal between and Express Scripts follows the $69 billion merger of insurer and CVS Corp, 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 in clinics.

After the deal closes, Cigna shareholders will own about 64 percent of the combined company and Express Scripts shareholders the rest.

Cigna intends to fund the cash portion of the deal through a combination of cash on hand, Express Scripts debt and new debt issuance.

The insurer said it obtained fully committed debt financing from and Ltd for the deal.

(Reporting by in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, March 08 2018. 17:04 IST