Cigna said they believe the merger will close by the end of 2018, subject to normal closing conditions and administrative clearances. Investor Carl Icahn said in early August that he planned to vote against the merger with Express Scripts because he believes the $54 billion price is too high, according to the Wall Street Journal. Icahn owns less than 5 percent of Cigna`s shares. Associated with the closing of the merger, Cigna also said he would invest $200 million to improve health in the local communities it serves, including a $25 million investment over five years to improve children`s health, first by improving nutrition. The $67 billion deal, which connects a health insurance giant to the country`s largest pharmacy-benefit director, is the second insurance mega-merger struck in 2018, behind the $70 billion deal between CVS Health and Aetna. Consolidate healthcare companies to curb the increase in healthcare spending and discourage new competitors. Cigna and St., based in Bloomfield, Conn., Louis` Express Scripts, say their merger allows them to reduce healthcare costs and achieve better care outcomes. Their combination allows Cigna to “dramatically accelerate the number and breadth of value-based relationships” and foster transparency and engagement with customers, the insurer said. Experts also doubt that the merger will increase the transparency of the complex health system.
PBM`s business is notoriously secretive, and a change in PBM ownership is unlikely to change that, critics of the merger said. In addition, a competitive insurance market is needed to reduce premiums for customers, but the insurance industry has rapidly consolidated. Cigna Corp. and Express Scripts closed their merger on Thursday, less than a year after the companies first agreed to join in a deal that continues to change the healthcare landscape. Cigna shareholders have agreed to the proposed merger with Express Scripts, a leading pharmacy services company. About 90 percent of the votes cast are in favor of the merger deal, Cigna said. The final results of the vote are submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission. “Our combined business will enhance Cigna`s differentiated service-based model, based on achievable knowledge and analysis, to promote innovation and smart growth in a highly dynamic market environment.