October 22, 2019 / 1:15 PM / 4 months ago

Centene says WellCare deal may close earlier in 2020

Oct 22 (Reuters) - Health insurer Centene Corp said on Tuesday its buyout of smaller rival WellCare Health Plans Inc could be completed earlier than expected in 2020.

The companies were expecting to close the $15.27 billion deal in the first half of next year.

"The approval process continues to go well and is ahead of schedule... Given the progress of activities to date, there may be an opportunity to close earlier in 2020," Chief Executive Officer Michael Neidorff said on a conference call.

Neidorff also said conditional approvals have been obtained in all but two states, Illinois and New Jersey. (Reporting by Saumya Sibi Joseph in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)

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