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Cigna Announces Closing of $67B Purchase of Express Scripts

Cigna has finalized its $67 billion purchase of Express Scripts, creating another new healthcare giant with a broad industry reach.

Cigna and Express Scripts merger

Source: Cigna

By Jennifer Bresnick

- Cigna is officially the new owner of Express Scripts after announcing on December 20 that the $67 billion acquisition has closed.

Cigna calls the acquisition a “blueprint to transform the healthcare system,” indicating that the company has ambitious plans to become an even more powerful force in the health insurance and pharmacy benefit management environment.

“Today’s closing represents a major milestone in Cigna’s drive to transform our health care system for our customers, clients, partners and communities,” said David M. Cordani, President and Chief Executive Officer of Cigna.

“Together, we are establishing a blueprint for personalized, whole person health care, further enhancing our ability to put the customer at the center of all we do by creating a flexible, open and connected model that improves affordability, choice and predictability. By approaching each individual as a whole person – body and mind as one – we are empowering and supporting customers to take control of their total health and well-being.”

The combination of the two entities will spur a “dramatic” acceleration of value-based care initiatives, Cigna said, supported by robust data analytics capabilities and the expanded reach of the newly created partnership.

Increased transparency and improved member engagement will be on the agenda as Cigna and Express Scripts reposition themselves as a single entity, the companies added.

“As we launch our combined company, we have a highly-accomplished and experienced enterprise leadership team in place to guide our team around the world,” said Cordani. “We are excited about the opportunities to transform the health care system and improve societal health through our combination.”

Cigna also announced a $200 million investment in its charitable foundation in an effort to improve community services and address critical childhood wellness issues abroad.

“As a combined company, we are also going deeper into our local communities to help close gaps in care, and our $200 million investment will be a key driver of transforming health care at the societal and local levels,” said Cordani.

The five-year investment will focus on eradicating childhood hunger and improving nutrition, creating a strong foundation for better long-term outcomes.

“To fundamentally shape the future of societal health, we need to make our communities healthier and more vibrant for the next generation. Cigna is targeting childhood hunger with Healthier Kids for Our Future to make a meaningful – and early – impact on the health and well-being of children and drive measurable outcomes in the communities where we live, work and play,” said Cordani.

“Community engagement and support are at the core of both Cigna and Express Scripts, and we are building on that heritage with this new initiative.”

The merger is expected to bring shareholder rewards, as well, he continued.

“We believe that this combination will also deliver sustained attractive return for shareholders in a highly dynamic health care market,” stated Cordani.

“We are significantly expanding our distribution reach and addressable markets, firmly positioning Cigna for future revenue and earnings growth. We expect continued strong margins and free cash flows, which will enable us to rapidly reduce our debt levels and reinvest in our business, while having additional capital available for deployment.

“We are confident in our ability to create significant shareholder value and further distinguish Cigna as the undisputed partner of choice.”

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