Anthem Acquiring WellPoint

October 27, 2003 ( - Two of the nation's largest Blue Cross Blue Shield health insurers have agreed to a $16.4-billion merger.

Per terms of the merger, Anthem Inc. will acquire Thousand Oaks, California-based WellPoint Health Networks Inc. to form a company that will cover nearly 26 million people and operate in 13 states. Indianapolis-based Anthem – the country’s second-largest Blue Cross provider – will pay those who own shares in WellPoint $23.80 in cash and one share of Anthem common stock per WellPoint share, according to a news release.

The combined company’s name will be WellPoint Inc., with the corporate headquarters in Indianapolis. Larry Glasscock, Anthem’s chairman, president and chief executive, will be chief executive of the combined company. Leonard Schaeffer, who is WellPoint’s chairman and chief executive, will be chairman.

WellPoint has been an active player in the merger and acquisition department. In June, WellPoint agreed to buy Cobalt Corp. for $906 million in cash and stock (See Wellpoint Locks Up Cobalt Merger ). Prior to that, WellPoint acquired RightChoice Managed Care Inc., the parent of Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Missouri, in a $1.3-billion deal last year.