Cigna CEO: Express Scripts deal about 'capabilities, reach, quality, affordability'

Cigna CEO David Cordani said the insurer's proposed $67 billion takeover of pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts is more of an expansion of Cigna's portfolio than a routine acquisition, according to CNBC.

Mr. Cordani spoke with "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer March 19 about why Cigna wants to buy Express Scripts.

"This is not the acquisition of a pharmacy benefit management company; it's a broadening of capabilities," Mr. Cordani said. He noted the acquisition would funnel 80 million more customers to Cigna, the first of several benefits Mr. Cordani told CNBC the deal would create.

"Secondly, the ability to further accelerate the affordability equation, so lowering healthcare costs," Mr. Cordani continued. "Cigna's delivered the lowest medical cost trend every year for the last five years. Express Scripts delivered the lowest pharmacy trend last year. And then, lastly, expanding distribution — you know how important distribution is — selling to more clients, more health plans and more governmental entities."

"So capabilities, reach, quality, affordability, that's what this is about," he added.

When asked about a planned joint venture between Amazon, JPMorgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway, Mr. Cordani said, "If that joint venture has legs and takes off, they're going to need a service partner and a service provider of choice. We'll be really well-positioned."

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