Express Scripts is withdrawing its request for Federal Trade Commission antitrust review of its proposed acquisition of its fellow prescription benefit manager Caremark. Express Scripts plans to refile early next week in order to allow the FTC more time to evaluate the antitrust implications of the proposed merger. This means that the FTC review may not be completed by the time that Caremark shareholders are scheduled to vote on the CVS merger proposal, February 20. Moreover, the Wall Street Journal notes today hat
“With Express [Script]s’ antitrust case in limbo, the company [Express Scripts] is under increasing pressure to raise its offer, which yesterday was valued at $58.87 per Caremark share. That is only about 1% greater than CVS’s transaction terms, valued at $58.19, which includes a $2 per share dividend once the deal is completed.”
What’s more CVS announced today that its fourth quarter 2006 profit was up nearly three percent on increased sales of generic drugs and that its January 2007 revenues were 24% over the previous January. It therefore appears that momentum has shifted to CVS in the the battle for Caremark.