Health Insurer Cigna Buying St. Louis' Express Scripts

Michael Calhoun
March 08, 2018 - 5:19 am

KMOX

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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) -- The region's largest publicly-traded company is being sold.

Health insurance company Cigna announced a deal Thursday morning to take-over St. Louis County-based Express Scripts, the nation's largest pharmacy benefits manager.  Express Scripts shares have jumped in pre-market trading.

Cigna says the cash-and-stock deal is valued at about $67 billion. Both companies' board of directors have already approved the acquisition.

The combined business will be called Cigna, headquarted in Bloomfield, Connecticut. Express Scripts will be a wholly-owned subsidiary and continue to be based in St. Louis County.

Read the official announcement of this deal >

It follows a trend of consolidation in the healthcare industry. Anthem dropped Express Scripts last year and is now doing prescription drug coverage in a partnership with CVS, which, by the way, is merging with health insurer Aetna. Their goal is to create a one stop shop for consumers to get health care.

"Together, our two organizations will help make the healthiest choices the easiest choices, putting health and pharmacy services within reach of everyone we serve," Express Scripts President and CEO Tim Wentworth said in a written statement.

Wentworth will remain as President of the Express Scripts division.

The companies promise expanded consumer choice, a more coordinated approach to providing healthcare and using personalization to make getting services easier for customers.

This news about Cigna circling Express Scripts could bring out other suitors. Maybe Walgreens. Or Amazon, which is already partnering with JP Morgan Chase and Warren Buffett to try and streamline health care.