/Centene to Buy WellCare Health Plans

Centene to Buy WellCare Health Plans

Michael Neidorff, chairman and chief executive officer of Centene, during a conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, in July 2018.

Michael Neidorff, chairman and chief executive officer of Centene, during a conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, in July 2018.


Photo:

David Paul Morris/Bloomberg News

Centene
Corp.


CNC -3.86%

is buying government-sponsored health-care provider

WellCare Health Plans
Inc.


WCG -3.93%

in a deal the companies are valuing at $17.3 billion.

Centene is buying WellCare in a cash and stock deal for $305.39 a share, the companies said. WellCare investors, for each share of the company owned, will get $120 in cash and 3.38 common shares of Centene.

The companies said that, together, they will have about 22 million members nationwide and about $97 billion in revenue in 2019 on a pro forma basis. Through the deal, Centene will be able to grow its Medicaid offerings, the companies said. WellCare also has a Medicare platform.

Two of WellCare’s board members will join the combined company’s board, which will have 11 members. Centene Chief Executive Michael Neidorff will still run Centene. WellCare CEO Ken Burdick and Chief Financial Officer Drew Asher will also join Centene.

Shares of WellCare rose 20% in premarket trading.

Write to Allison Prang at [email protected]