WellPoint Puts PBM on Auction Block

March 5, 2009 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - WellPoint Inc. has put its pharmacy benefits management business up for auction, the Financial Times reported Thursday.

According to Reuters, a sale of WellPoint’s PBM business, the fourth-largest in the United States, could be worth anywhere from less than $1 billion to five times that amount, depending on the extent to which WellPoint and other insurers were willing to sign long-term customer contracts with any potential buyer, one person close to the process told the FT.  

Indianapolis-based WellPoint operates Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans in 14 states.  

In response to inquiries from Reuters, WellPoint said it does not comment on specific mergers and acquisitions opportunities or rumors.   The FT said that WellPoint’s PBM business is likely to attract interest from CVS Caremark Corp, Medco Health Solutions Inc, and Express Scripts Inc – and the sale process has been under way for months, the paper said, citing people close to the matter.