Activist investor Carl Icahn has changed his position concerning the $52 billion Cigna-Express Scripts deal, despite telling FOX Business last week he was not in favor of the deal.
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Icahn said on Monday that he no longer intended to solicit proxies to vote against the combination, a turn around from his position last week when he urged the health insurer's shareholders to vote against it.
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Icahn's decision comes after proxy advisory firms Glass Lewis & Co and Institutional Shareholder Services, as well as hedge fund Glenview Capital Management, extended their support for the deal.
"In light of the ISS and Glass Lewis recommendations in favor of the Cigna/Express Scripts transaction and the significant stockholder overlap between the two companies, we have informed the SEC that we no longer intend to solicit proxies to vote against the transaction," Icahn said in a statement.
Icahn said last week in an open letter to Cigna shareholders, that the company was overpaying for Express Scripts.
Cigna in March agreed to pay what amounted to about $96.03 a share in cash and stock for Express Scripts and was confident of winning shareholder approval.
A vote on the deal is scheduled for August 24.