Centene-WellCare may face opposition from prominent hedge funds

Two major hedge funds that built stakes in Centene Corp. are considering challenging its proposed $17.3 billion bid for WellCare Health Plans, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

In the eyes of Corvex Management and Sachem Head Capital Management, Centene could do more to discover if another company may be interested in acquiring it, according to the sources. One possibility is Humana.

The Centene-WellCare deal requires shareholder approval to move forward, and the hedge funds may take advantage of that fact if they decide to oppose the merger, the sources told Reuters.

In a statement to Reuters, Centene spokesperson Marcela Hawn said, "We remain as committed to our combination with WellCare today as we did when we announced it on March 27."

The American Hospital Association recently called on the Department of Justice's Antitrust Division to investigate the deal.

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