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Report: Centene has acquisition pending, but Third Point wants it to mull sale

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Report: Centene has acquisition pending, but Third Point wants it to mull sale

Activist hedge fund Third Point LLC wants Centene Corp. to weigh a sale before sealing its pending acquisition of WellCare Health Plans Inc., The Wall Street Journal reported, citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter.

The hedge fund owns at least $300 million of Centene shares, according to one of the Journal's sources.

The May 24 report identified Corvex Management LP and Sachem Head Capital Management LP as other activist hedge funds that believe Centene failed to consider all its options, including selling to Humana Inc., before inking the agreement to buy WellCare. The Journal's sources said the hedge funds will not necessarily solicit votes against the WellCare deal, however.

Similarly, Reuters reported earlier this month that Corvex and Sachem Head are evaluating if they should oppose the proposed acquisition.

Shareholders of Centene and WellCare will vote in connection with the merger at meetings on June 24. The companies' boards urged shareholders to vote for the proposals to approve the merger agreement.