Health insurer Centene to buy rival Health Net for $6.3B

St. Louis-based health insurer Centene has agreed to buy Woodland Hills, Calif.-based Health Net in a deal valued at $6.3 billion, according to The Wall Street Journal.

As part of the cash-and-stock deal, Health Net shareholders will receive 0.622 shares of Centene and $28.25 in cash for each share held, according to the report.

Centene expects to boost its presence in California and other western states through the purchase of Health Net.

This deal is one of several that are in the works between health insurers across the nation. In the past month, there has been an endless stream of takeover talks in the health insurance sector: Aetna and Cigna have both shown interest in taking over Humana; Anthem has made two takeover bids for Cigna, and Cigna rejected both of them; and UnitedHealth Group approached Aetna about a takeover deal.

More articles on payer issues:

Healthcare leaders, physicians and others weigh in on health insurer merger madness
UnitedHealth leaves health insurers' largest trade group
Cigna shares surge on reports of takeover bids


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