Centene, a major U.S.-based health insurance company, has announced to acquire government-sponsored health-care provider WellCare Health Plans with a cash and stock deal valued at USD 17.3 billion. According to the reports, the transaction includes over three shares of Centene stock and USD120 in cash for each share of WellCare stock, or USD 305.39 per WellCare share. As per the joint statement, both companies will have nearly 22 million members across all 50 states.
Both companies expected to have pro forma 2019 revenue of nearly USD97 billion. With this acquisition, Centene will have access to expand its offerings of government-sponsored health-care programs, including Medicaid, and to increase its presence in the Affordable Healthcare Act markets. In a statement, Centene Chairman and CEO Michael Neidorff stated that with the addition of WellCare, we expect to bolster and diversify our product offerings, increase our scale and have access to new markets, which will, in turn, enable us to continue investing in technology and better serve members with innovative programs designed to meet their needs. Headquartered in St. Louis, Centene brought approximately USD 60.1 billion in revenue last year, while WellCare is based in Tampa, Florida and had revenue of about USD 20.4 billion in the same year.
According to the companies, the transaction follows what has been thus far a busy year of mergers involving drugmakers, health-care insurers, and pharmacies. The transaction, which has been unanimously approved by the boards of both companies, will be completed in the first half of 2020. The agreement builds one of the nation’s largest insurers of government-funded health coverage just as President Trump is renewing his attack on the Affordable Care Act.