$4.4 Billion Health Care Merger (CHSI, ESRX, SXCI)

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Health care benefits manager SXC Health Solutions Corp. (NASDAQ: SXCI) has agreed to acquire competitor Catalyst Health Solutions Inc. (NASDAQ: CHSI) in a deal valued at $4.4 billion. According to the announcement:

Catalyst shareholders will receive $28.00 in cash and 0.6606 shares of SXC stock for each Catalyst share, which implies a purchase price of $81.02 per Catalyst share and a premium of approximately 28% based on the closing stock prices of SXC and Catalyst on April 17, 2012 .

The deal is a response to last month’s $29 billion merger of Express Scripts Holdings Co. (NASDAQ: ESRX) and Medco Health. The combined market cap of SXC and Catalyst is $10 billion, a little more than a third of Express Scripts’ $28.5 billion market cap.

Shares of SXC are up about 9.8% at $88.10, which would be a new 52-week high if it holds. Shares of Catalyst are up almost 33% at $84.50, another 52-week high.

Paul Ausick