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Caremark board rejects Express Scripts bid


St. Louis, MO – The board of the pharmacy benefits company Caremark Sunday announced that it does not consider a buyout from St. Louis-based Express Scripts as a superior offer.

Caremark had originally agreed to a merger with the drug store chain CVS - a deal that has already received some regulatory approval - but Express later made a hostile bid for Caremark.

Sunday's announcement was Caremark's signal that it will contine with the CVS deal. "Our Board gave careful consideration to Express Scripts' proposal," noted a company statement.

"In the end, Caremark believes that its future success does not lie in simply creating a larger pharmacy benefits manager, but in becoming an end-to-end provider of diversified pharmaceutical services and integrated healthcare solutions, thereby enhancing Caremark's already strong clinical outcomes and creating unique opportunities to improve consumers' health, control costs, and meet the needs of payors."

Express replied with its own statement in which it still considers its bid superior. "We believe that Caremark is attempting to use antitrust as a red herring to distract stockholders from the real value differential at issue," noted a statement from Express.

Express recently sent its pitch directly to Caremark shareholders, who would have to sign off on any buyout or merger. Analysts have said in recent weeks that shareholders might prefer Express, even if company management does not.