By Sarah Toy
Shares of Centene Corp. /zigman2/quotes/208900023/composite CNC +6.51% were down 8.2% in premarket trade Monday after Humana Inc. /zigman2/quotes/203095337/composite HUM +1.03% confirmed in a securities filing that it would not be proposing a merger with the company.
“Humana Inc.’s (the ‘Company’) long-standing policy is not to comment on rumors or speculation regarding possible M&A activity,” the filing said. “However, in light of the significant investor speculation and persistent market rumors regarding the Company’s intentions with respect to pursuing a combination with Centene Corporation (’Centene’), the Company has chosen to make a one-time, limited exception to its no-comment policy (which continues in effect) and confirm that the Company will not make a proposal to combine with Centene as an alternative to Centene’s proposed transaction with WellCare Health Plans, Inc.”
Centene said in March it had agreed to buy competitor WellCare Health Plans Inc. /zigman2/quotes/207459018/composite WCG +3.44% for around $15.3 billion. Both of the companies’ shareholders are scheduled to vote on the deal on June 24.
Shares of Humana were up 3.3% in premarket trade.