The Wall Street Journal: Cigna reportedly near deal to acquire Express Scripts

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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.

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.

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