Express Scripts (ESRX), Medco (MHS) Surge on Merger

A merger between the two largest pharmacy-benefits management companies in the country has given both stocks a nice boost today.

Express Scripts (Nasdaq: ESRX) completed a deal to buy Medco Health Solutions (NYSE: MHS) for the hefty sum of $29.1 billion today. The merger became final after receiving approval from the Federal Trade Commission, which ruled 3-to-1 that the deal between the two biggest companies in the pharmacy-benefits management sector would not threaten to swallow up competition from other companies.

Now that the merger is official, both stocks are rising. Express Scripts is up 2.6% as of 2:40 eastern time this afternoon. Medco has gotten a 2% bump, reaching its 52-week high earlier in the day before pulling back a bit.

The companies are almost identical in terms of size, each weighing in with a valuation in the $27 billion range.

Express Scripts’ stock is up 24.6% in 2012. Medco’s stock has surged 28.5% this year. 

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