The health insurance giant Cigna said on Thursday that it had agreed to buy the pharmacy benefits manager Express Scripts for $67 billion in cash and stock, including the assumption of $15 billion in debt.
The transaction is the latest deal in the health care sector as insurers and others look to control costs and stave off a possible challenge from Amazon. Amazon recently teamed up with Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase to form an independent health care venture to serve the three companies’ employees and possibly revamp the industry.
The news comes a little over a year after a judge blocked a proposed $48 billion merger of Cigna and Anthem, another major health insurer. Separately, a judge also blocked a $37 billion deal between the health insurers Aetna and Humana last year.
“This combination accelerates Cigna’s enterprise mission of improving the health, well-being and sense of security of those we serve, and in turn, expanding the breadth of services for our customers, partners, clients, health plans and communities,” David Cordani, the Cigna president and chief executive, said in a news release.
Express Scripts, based in St. Louis, offers services to company-provided health plans like negotiating drug prices and arranging home delivery of some prescriptions. The company reported revenue of $100.3 billion in 2016 and employed about 25,000 people.
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