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