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Federal Antitrust Regulators Approve Cigna’s Proposed Acquisition of Express Scripts

On Monday, September 17, 2018, the Antitrust Division of the United States Department of Justice (the “DOJ”) cleared Cigna’s proposed $67 billion acquisition of Express Scripts, the country’s largest pharmacy benefit manager. While the transaction still needs the approval of certain state regulatory agencies, obtaining the DOJ’s approval was widely seen as the transaction’s most significant obstacle to overcome.

Cigna – one of the country’s largest health insurers – announced its proposed acquisition of Express Scripts back on March 7, 2018. Since then, Cigna and Express Scripts have been able to obtain regulatory clearances from 16 of the 29 states needed for the transaction, and the acquisition was formally approved by the shareholders on August 24, 2018. In Monday’s announcement, Cigna stated that it expects the proposed transaction to close by the end of the year.

While Cigna and Express Scripts await the remaining state regulatory approvals for its transaction, another significant proposed transaction – CVS’s proposed $69 billion acquisition of Aetna – remains under DOJ review. While it is unclear exactly when the DOJ will make its decision on the CVS-Aetna transaction, some view the DOJ’s approval of the Cigna-Express Scripts transaction as a good sign for the deal going forward.

We will keep our readers posted in the coming weeks and months as more developments become known with both proposed transactions, including our analysis of the potential effects on the healthcare space if they proceed as expected.

Copyright © 2019, Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP.


About this Author

Jordan Grushkin, Attorney, Sheppard Mullin Law Firm, Health Care

Jordan Grushkin is an associate in the Corporate Practice group in the firm's Century City office.

  • J.D., Georgetown University Law Center, 2015

  • B.A., Georgetown University, 2015, magna cum laude