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ST. LOUIS, — Centene Corporation (NYSE: CNC) (“Centene” or the “Company”) today announced that upon completion of the pending combination with WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (NYSE: WCG) (“WellCare”), Ken Burdick, currently Chief Executive Officer of WellCare, and Drew Asher, currently Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of WellCare, will join Centene in executive leadership positions. Mr. Burdick and Mr. Asher will report directly to Michael F. Neidorff, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Centene. Mr. Burdick’s employment agreement is for a two-year term.
Neidorff said, “Ken and Drew are accomplished executives, each with a strong track record of success that includes building WellCare into the high-performing company it is today. Both Ken and Drew share Centene’s values that healthcare is best delivered locally, as well as a strong commitment to smart execution and efficient management. This is a transaction about growth and the success of the combined company. Centene and WellCare each have extraordinary talent across all levels, and we look forward to leveraging the strengths of our combined organization to realize the benefits of this transaction for all of our stakeholders. We are pleased to be taking this important step in the journey to combine our two great companies.”
Burdick said, “I am very pleased to have made this commitment and believe this announcement will help advance the effective integration of our two companies upon closing. WellCare and Centene will be stronger together, and I look forward to working with Michael and the leadership team being assembled to bring the benefits of this strategic combination to our members, communities, employees and shareholders. Michael and his team have an impressive track record of delivering value to Centene’s stakeholders, and it’s an honor and pleasure to be part of the new organization upon close.”
Asher said, “There is a lot of mutual respect between the WellCare and Centene management teams and it will be a privilege to join Centene, a company that shares so many of WellCare’s important values. I look forward to working with the team to finalize this strategic combination and capitalize on the many opportunities it will create. I am confident that together we can deliver on the promises of the combined company to benefit members and their families across the country, as well as drive tremendous value for our shareholders and opportunities for our employees.”
Centene expects to announce additional details on the combined Company’s organizational structure and leadership team at its previously scheduled Investor Day to be held on June 14, 2019. The event will be webcast live before an audience of institutional investors and analysts at the Pierre Hotel, 2 East 61st Street at Fifth Avenue, in New York City. Details regarding the event and live webcast are available on the Investor section of the Company’s website at www.centene.com.
As previously announced on March 27, 2019, Centene and WellCare agreed to combine in a transaction that will create a premier healthcare enterprise focused on government-sponsored healthcare programs and a leader in Medicaid, Medicare and the Health Insurance Marketplace. On May 23, 2019, the companies filed the definitive joint proxy statement and prospectus with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in connection with the pending combination. The combination, which is expected to close by the first half of 2020, remains subject to approval by Centene and WellCare shareholders and other customary closing conditions.
About Kenneth A. Burdick
Ken was named CEO of WellCare Health Plans in January 2015. He leads the company in its mission to provide quality, cost-effective healthcare solutions for the company’s members, providers and government customers. Ken joined WellCare as president, national health plans, in January 2014. He was promoted to president and chief operating officer in June 2014 and was named a member of the board of directors in December 2014.
About Drew Asher
Drew was named senior vice president and chief financial officer in November 2014 and promoted to executive vice president and chief financial officer in September 2016. He leads the company’s financial activities, including financial and performance management, capital strategy and planning, actuarial, medical economics, internal controls, investment management, corporate development and investor relations.
Centene Corporation, a Fortune 100 company, is a diversified, multi-national healthcare enterprise that provides a portfolio of services to government sponsored and commercial healthcare programs, focusing on under-insured and uninsured individuals. Many receive benefits provided under Medicaid, including the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), as well as Aged, Blind or Disabled (ABD), Foster Care and Long-Term Services and Supports (LTSS), in addition to other state-sponsored programs, Medicare (including the Medicare prescription drug benefit commonly known as “Part D”), dual eligible programs and programs with the U.S. Department of Defense. Centene also provides healthcare services to groups and individuals delivered through commercial health plans. Centene operates local health plans and offers a range of health insurance solutions. It also contracts with other healthcare and commercial organizations to provide specialty services including behavioral health management, care management software, correctional healthcare services, dental benefits management, commercial programs, home-based primary care services, life and health management, vision benefits management, pharmacy benefits management, specialty pharmacy and telehealth services.
Centene uses its investor relations website to publish important information about the Company, including information that may be deemed material to investors. Financial and other information about Centene is routinely posted and is accessible on Centene’s investor relations website, http://www.centene.com/investors.
Cautionary Statement on Forward-Looking Statements of Centene
All statements, other than statements of current or historical fact, contained in this communication are forward-looking statements. Without limiting the foregoing, forward-looking statements often use words such as “believe,” “anticipate,” “plan,” “expect,” “estimate,” “intend,” “seek,” “target,” “goal,” “may,” “will,” “would,” “could,” “should,” “can,” “continue” and other similar words or expressions (and the negative thereof). In particular, these statements include, without limitation, statements about Centene’s future operating or financial performance, market opportunity, growth strategy, competition, expected activities in completed and future acquisitions, including statements about the impact of Centene’s proposed acquisition of WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (the “WellCare Transaction”), Centene’s recent acquisition (the “Fidelis Care Transaction”) of substantially all the assets of New York State Catholic Health Plan, Inc., d/b/a Fidelis Care New York (“Fidelis Care“), investments and the adequacy of Centene’s available cash resources.
These forward-looking statements reflect Centene’s current views with respect to future events and are based on numerous assumptions and assessments made by us in light of Centene’s experience and perception of historical trends, current conditions, business strategies, operating environments, future developments and other factors Centene believes appropriate. By their nature, forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties and are subject to change because they relate to events and depend on circumstances that will occur in the future, including economic, regulatory, competitive and other factors that may cause Centene’s or its industry’s actual results, levels of activity, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, levels of activity, performance or achievements expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to risks, uncertainties and assumptions.
All forward-looking statements included in this filing are based on information available to us on the date of this communication. Except as may be otherwise required by law, Centene undertakes no obligation to update or revise the forward-looking statements included in this communication, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, after the date of this filing. You should not place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements, as actual results may differ materially from projections, estimates, or other forward-looking statements due to a variety of important factors, variables and events including, but not limited to, the following: (i) the risk that regulatory or other approvals required for the WellCare Transaction may be delayed or not obtained or are obtained subject to conditions that are not anticipated that could require the exertion of management’s time and Centene’s resources or otherwise have an adverse effect on Centene; (ii) the risk that Centene’s stockholders do not approve the issuance of shares of Centene common stock in the WellCare Transaction; (iii) the risk that WellCare’s stockholders do not adopt the merger agreement; (iv) the possibility that certain conditions to the consummation of the WellCare Transaction will not be satisfied or completed on a timely basis and accordingly the WellCare Transaction may not be consummated on a timely basis or at all; (v) uncertainty as to the expected financial performance of the combined company following completion of the WellCare Transaction; (vi) the possibility that the expected synergies and value creation from the WellCare Transaction will not be realized, or will not be realized within the expected time period; (vii) the exertion of management’s time and Centene’s resources, and other expenses incurred and business changes required, in connection with complying with the undertakings in connection with any regulatory, governmental or third party consents or approvals for the WellCare Transaction; (viii) the risk that unexpected costs will be incurred in connection with the completion and/or integration of the WellCare Transaction or that the integration of WellCare will be more difficult or time consuming than expected; (ix) the risk that potential litigation in connection with the WellCare Transaction may affect the timing or occurrence of the WellCare Transaction or result in significant costs of defense, indemnification and liability; (x) a downgrade of the credit rating of Centene’s indebtedness, which could give rise to an obligation to redeem existing indebtedness; (xi) unexpected costs, charges or expenses resulting from the WellCare Transaction; (xii) the possibility that competing offers will be made to acquire WellCare; (xiii) the inability to retain key personnel; (xiv) disruption from the announcement, pendency and/or completion of the WellCare Transaction, including potential adverse reactions or changes to business relationships with customers, employees, suppliers or regulators, making it more difficult to maintain business and operational relationships; and (xv) the risk that, following the WellCare Transaction, the combined company may not be able to effectively manage its expanded operations.
Additional factors that may cause actual results to differ materially from projections, estimates, or other forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, the following: (i) Centene’s ability to accurately predict and effectively manage health benefits and other operating expenses and reserves; (ii) competition; (iii) membership and revenue declines or unexpected trends; (iv) changes in healthcare practices, new technologies, and advances in medicine; (v) increased healthcare costs, (vi) changes in economic, political or market conditions; (vii) changes in federal or state laws or regulations, including changes with respect to income tax reform or government healthcare programs as well as changes with respect to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Health Care and Education Affordability Reconciliation Act, collectively referred to as the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”), and any regulations enacted thereunder that may result from changing political conditions or judicial actions, including the ultimate outcome of the District Court decision in “Texas v. United States of America” regarding the constitutionality of the ACA; (viii) rate cuts or other payment reductions or delays by governmental payors and other risks and uncertainties affecting Centene’s government businesses; (ix) Centene’s ability to adequately price products on federally facilitated and state-based Health Insurance Marketplaces; (x) tax matters; (xi) disasters or major epidemics; (xii) the outcome of legal and regulatory proceedings; (xiii) changes in expected contract start dates; (xiv) provider, state, federal and other contract changes and timing of regulatory approval of contracts; (xv) the expiration, suspension, or termination of Centene’s contracts with federal or state governments (including but not limited to Medicaid, Medicare, TRICARE or other customers); (xvi) the difficulty of predicting the timing or outcome of pending or future litigation or government investigations; (xvii) challenges to Centene’s contract awards; (xviii) cyber-attacks or other privacy or data security incidents; (xix) the possibility that the expected synergies and value creation from acquired businesses, including, without limitation, the Fidelis Care Transaction, will not be realized, or will not be realized within the expected time period; (xx) the exertion of management’s time and Centene’s resources, and other expenses incurred and business changes required in connection with complying with the undertakings in connection with any regulatory, governmental or third party consents or approvals for acquisitions, including the Fidelis Care Transaction; (xxi) disruption caused by significant completed and pending acquisitions, including, among others, the Fidelis Care Transaction, making it more difficult to maintain business and operational relationships; (xxii) the risk that unexpected costs will be incurred in connection with the completion and/or integration of acquisition transactions, including, among others, the Fidelis Care Transaction; (xxiii) changes in expected closing dates, estimated purchase price and accretion for acquisitions; (xxiv) the risk that acquired businesses, including Fidelis Care, will not be integrated successfully; (xxv) the risk that, following the Fidelis Care Transaction, Centene may not be able to effectively manage its expanded operations; (xxvi) restrictions and limitations in connection with Centene’s indebtedness; (xxvii) Centene’s ability to maintain the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Star ratings and maintain or achieve improvement in other quality scores in each case that can impact revenue and future growth; (xxviii) availability of debt and equity financing, on terms that are favorable to us; (xxxix) inflation; and (xxx) foreign currency fluctuations.
This list of important factors is not intended to be exhaustive. We discuss certain of these matters more fully, as well as certain other factors that may affect Centene’s business operations, financial condition and results of operations, in Centene’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”), including the registration statement on Form S-4 filed by Centene with the Securities and Exchange Commission on May 23, 2019 (the “Registration Statement”), and Centene’s Annual Report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and current reports on Form 8-K. Due to these important factors and risks, Centene cannot give assurances with respect to Centene’s future performance, including without limitation Centene’s ability to maintain adequate premium levels or Centene’s ability to control its future medical and selling, general and administrative costs.
Important Additional Information and Where to Find It
In connection with the WellCare Transaction, on May 23, 2019, Centene filed with the SEC the Registration Statement, which included a prospectus with respect to the shares of Centene’s common stock to be issued in the WellCare Transaction and a joint proxy statement for Centene’s and WellCare’s respective stockholders (the “Joint Proxy Statement”). The SEC declared the Registration Statement effective on May 23, 2019, and the Joint Proxy Statement was first mailed to stockholders of Centene and WellCare on or about May 24, 2019. Each of Centene and WellCare may file other documents regarding the WellCare Transaction with the SEC. This communication is not a substitute for the Registration Statement, the Joint Proxy Statement or any other document that Centene or WellCare may send to their respective stockholders in connection with the WellCare Transaction. INVESTORS AND SECURITY HOLDERS OF CENTENE AND WELLCARE ARE URGED TO READ THE REGISTRATION STATEMENT, THE JOINT PROXY STATEMENT AND ANY OTHER RELEVANT DOCUMENTS (INCLUDING ANY AMENDMENTS OR SUPPLEMENTS THERETO) FILED WITH THE SEC CAREFULLY AND IN THEIR ENTIRETY WHEN THEY BECOME AVAILABLE BECAUSE THEY CONTAIN OR WILL CONTAIN IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT CENTENE, WELLCARE, THE WELLCARE TRANSACTION AND RELATED MATTERS. Investors and security holders of Centene and WellCare are able to obtain free copies of the Registration Statement, the Joint Proxy Statement and other documents (including any amendments or supplements thereto) containing important information about Centene and WellCare through the website maintained by the SEC at www.sec.gov. Centene and WellCare make available free of charge at www.centene.com and www.ir.wellcare.com, respectively, copies of materials they file with, or furnish to, the SEC.
Participants In The Solicitation
Centene, WellCare and certain of their respective directors, executive officers and employees may be deemed to be participants in the solicitation of proxies from the stockholders of Centene and WellCare in connection with the WellCare Transaction.
Information about the directors and executive officers of Centene is set forth in its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2018, which was filed with the SEC on February 19, 2019, its proxy statement for its 2019 annual meeting of stockholders, which was filed with the SEC on March 8, 2019, and on its website at www.centene.com.
Information about the directors and executive officers of WellCare is set forth in its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2018, which was filed with the SEC on February 12, 2019, its proxy statement for its 2019 annual meeting of stockholders, which was filed with the SEC on April 8, 2019, and on its website at www.ir.wellcare.com.
Investors may obtain additional information regarding the interest of such participants and a description of their direct and indirect interests, by security holdings or otherwise, by reading the Registration Statement, the Joint Proxy Statement and other materials filed with the SEC in connection with the WellCare Transaction. You may obtain these documents free of charge through the website maintained by the SEC at www.sec.gov and from the websites of Centene or WellCare as described above.
No Offer or Solicitation
This communication is for informational purposes only and does not constitute, or form a part of, an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to sell or an offer to buy or the solicitation of an offer to buy any securities, and there shall be no sale of securities, in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such jurisdiction. No offer of securities shall be made except by means of a prospectus meeting the requirements of Section 10 of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and otherwise in accordance with applicable law.