- Humana said Monday it would not make a bid to acquire managed care company Centene. The insurer released the statement "in light of the significant investor speculation and persistent market rumors," according to a regulatory filing.
- Humana bucked a "long-standing" no-comment policy to address the reports of a possible tie-up and won't make any additional statements on the issue.
- The announcement comes as Centene has doubled down on its WellCare acquisition despite reports of activist investors interested in either a Humana-Centene union or a Centene sale.
Centene has said it remains committed to its $17 billion purchase of WellCare, which is set to boost Centene's footprint in Medicare and beef up its core business of providing care to Medicaid beneficiaries.
Shareholders are expected to vote on the deal June 24. The boards of the two companies have already signed off.
However, industry groups have asked the U.S. Department of Justice for a thorough review of the union, claiming the combination "threatens to reduce competition in delivery of Medicaid Managed Care and Medicare Advantage services to tens of millions of consumers across broad swaths of the country," according to a letter from the American Hospital Association to DOJ.
Centene and WellCare previously disclosed to federal regulators within the antitrust division requested additional information and documents about the transaction from the two companies, according to an SEC filing.
Centene CEO Michael Neidorff previously acknowledged that divestitures are likely, specifically in Missouri and Nebraska.
Together the two would cover 22 million people across all 50 states and would generate nearly $100 billion in revenue.