$67B Cigna-Express Scripts merger faces one more hurdle

New York and California approved the $67 billion acquisition of Express Scripts by Cigna on Dec. 13, but New Jersey has yet to give its approval, according to a public filing.

The transaction has been approved by all other regulators, including the Department of Justice and shareholders from both companies. Cigna previously signaled the closure of the deal was delayed, but executives were still bullish it would be completed before the end of the year. Cigna needed approvals for a change of control of an insurer from the three states as of November 27.

“We continue to work with regulators in New Jersey, the one outstanding state where approval is required, and continue to expect that the transaction will close by the end of 2018, subject to the satisfaction of all closing conditions,” the Dec. 13 filing reads.

The transaction, which bring together a major health insurance provider and one of the nation’s largest pharmacy benefit managers, is one of the largest in the industry this year, and already cost more than $200 million as of September.