Feb. 6 (Bloomberg) -- Medco Health Solutions Inc. fell the most in more than three years after Reuters reported that “key people” at the Federal Trade Commission are seeking to stop the company’s proposed acquisition by rival pharmacy benefits company Express Scripts Inc.
Medco, based in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey, declined 9.2 percent to $57.75 at 2:03 p.m. New York time, after losing as much as 13 percent in the biggest intraday drop since October 2008. Express Scripts, of St. Louis, lost 5 percent to $49.50, after earlier falling 12 percent in the biggest intraday decline since May 2010.
Express Scripts continues cooperate with the FTC as it reviews the deal and “we remain confident that the merger will close in the first half of this year,” Brian Henry, a company spokesman, said today in an interview.
Reuters reported that a “source closely watching the deal” said “key people at the FTC” believe it should be stopped. The unidentified person said a decision on whether to challenge the transaction is expected by late February or early March, according to the report.
Express Scripts agreed in July to buy Medco for $29.1 billion to create the biggest pharmacy benefits manager in the U.S. Pharmacy benefits managers act as middlemen among drugmakers, pharmacies and health-plan sponsors to negotiate prices and manage the use of drugs by patients.
--Editors: Andrew Pollack, Adriel Bettelheim
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