Health insurer Cigna Corp. CI, +0.06% is nearing a deal to buy Express Scripts Holding Co., according to people familiar with the matter.
A deal could be announced as soon as Thursday, the people said. As of Wednesday, Express Scripts ESRX, -1.56% had a market value of $41 billion, meaning that with a typical premium the transaction could be worth $50 billion or more. Terms of the expected deal couldn’t be learned.
St. Louis-based Express Scripts is a pharmacy-benefit manager. Such companies serve as middlemen that help negotiate discounts with drug makers.
The combination would be the latest in a flurry of proposed tie-ups in the rapidly changing healthcare-services business.
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