March 27, 2019 / 10:10 AM / 3 months ago

Health insurer Centene to buy smaller rival WellCare for $15.27 bln

March 27 (Reuters) - U.S. health insurer Centene Corp will buy smaller rival WellCare Health Plans Inc for $15.27 billion in a cash-and-stock deal.

The companies said on Wednesday the deal, including debt, was valued at $17.3 billion. The offer of $305.39 per share represents a premium of about 32 percent to WellCare’s closing price on Tuesday.

Reuters on Tuesday reported the companies were in advanced talks over a merger.

Reporting by Tamara Mathias in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur

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