Centene, WellCare shareholders approve merger deal

Shareholders approved Centene's pending $17 billion acquisition of WellCare Health Plans in separate votes June 24, the companies said.

The vote faced little resistance from shareholders of both companies, despite reports that hedge funds may pressure shareholders to reconsider the deal.

In addition to shareholder approval, Centene and WellCare need approval from 26 states to complete the transaction. So far, conditional approval has been granted by four states: Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky and Missouri. Missouri's approval hinges on the parties' divestiture of some Medicaid assets in the state.

Centene and WellCare also revealed the Department of Justice sent a request for additional information from the two companies. The insurers said the request was expected.

The deal is still set to close in the first half of 2020.

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