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Health insurer acquired by larger rival in $17.3B deal

Centene Corp. buys Tampa-based WellCare Health Plans Inc.

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  • | 11:04 a.m. March 27, 2019
  • | 2 Free Articles Remaining!
WellCare CEO Ken Burdick. Courtesy photo.
WellCare CEO Ken Burdick. Courtesy photo.
  • Tampa Bay-Lakeland
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TAMPA — Centene Corp. has agreed to acquire WellCare Health Plans Inc. in a cash-and-stock transaction valued at $17.3 billion.

According to a news release, the boards of both companies have unanimously approved the transaction.

Both St. Louis-based Centene and Tampa-based WellCare specialize in providing government-sponsored health insurance plans — including Medicaid, Medicare and Health Insurance Marketplace coverage — to millions of Americans. According to the release, the combined enterprise is expected to serve 22 million people in all 50 U.S. states, and generate $97 billion in revenue in 2019.

"We are enthusiastic about the opportunity to create a high-performing combined business focused on government-sponsored managed care that will bring benefits to all of our stakeholders," WellCare CEO Ken Burdick states in the release. "By combining with Centene, we will create a more competitive, diversified company that is better able to deliver fully integrated, high-quality, cost-effective services for our members and government partners. Both companies share a deep history and focus on the government-sponsored healthcare market and, together, our expertise will allow us to deliver enhanced value for our shareholders, opportunities for our associates and better outcomes for our members."

Both WellCare and Centene have performed well in recent years. WellCare generated $19.99 billion in revenue in 2018, up from $17.01 billion in 2017, while Centene posted revenues of $56.69 billion last year, up from $45.81 billion in 2017.


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