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Centene CEO not interested in bidding for potential asset sales by mega insurers

Chairman,President and CEO Michael Neidorff said that there's no truth in recent reportsthat the insurer took part in a bidding process for a potential divestitureneeded by a large health insurer looking to get regulatory approval for itspending deal.

ReutersreportedJuly 11 that Centene and WellCareHealth Plans Inc. separately submitted bids for 's Medicare Advantageinsurance plans. The divestiture was part of Aetna's plan to secure theDepartment of Justice's approval for its deal for Humana Inc. The DOJ has since to block the proposed Aetna/Humanamerger.

"Ithink if there's any one thing that Centene is recognized for is that it hasnot participated and will not participate in bidding and auctions,"Neidorff said on a call. "So I guess somebody was spreading some rumors. Ican't be more direct than that."