Express Scripts, Cigna await regulators after shareholders approve deal

Shareholders of Express Scripts Holding Co. voted Friday to approve the company’s $54 billion sale to Cigna. In a separate vote Friday, Cigna shareholders also approved the deal.

The acquisition still must win approval from U.S. Department of Justice antitrust regulators. They are expected to complete their review later this year, Reuters reports.

Express Scripts, the St. Louis County-based pharmacy benefits manager, and Cigna, the Connecticut-based health insurer, said they expect the transaction to close by year’s end. The companies first announced the deal in March.

Shareholder approval followed an attempt by Carl Icahn, the famed activist investor, to undermine the deal. Icahn ultimately scrapped that effort.

Express Scripts CEO Tim Wentworth said in a release that the vote showed shareholders of both companies “recognize and validate the highly attractive value this transaction delivers to all stakeholders.”

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