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Max Nisen

Icahn’s Retreat May Hand Cigna a Pyrrhic Victory

The health insurer’s pricey takeover of Express Scripts is only getting riskier.  

Not wrong, just late.

Not wrong, just late.

Photographer: Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg

Cigna Corp. won an unusual and very fast victory against Carl Icahn. The activist investor announced Monday night that he was dropping his nascent effort to block the health insurer’s $54 billion takeover of pharmacy benefit management giant Express Scripts Holding Co.

Cigna may end up regretting its win, though. Icahn’s crusade was financially motivated, but he was right to point out the escalating risks of this deal.