WellPoint, Inc. and WellChoice, Inc. have completed their merger that they first announced on Sept. 27, 2005. The value of the transaction at that time was estimated to be $6.5 billion.
“Our focus as a combined company is to become the most trusted choice for consumers and a leader in affordable quality care,” said Larry C. Glasscock, chairman, president and chief executive officer of WellPoint, Inc.
Michael Stocker, M.D., president and chief executive officer of WellChoice, now serves as president and chief executive officer of the newly formed East Region of WellPoint. He has responsibility for business operations in New York, Connecticut, Georgia, Maine, New Hampshire and Virginia. He will also serve on WellPoint’s Executive Leadership Team and report to Glasscock.
“The completion of this merger is very good news for all of our constituencies as WellPoint is uniquely positioned to become the most valued company in our industry,” said Michael Stocker, M.D., president and chief executive officer of WellPoint’s East Region. “Our objective, within the new East Region and across our company, is to further build a highly customer- focused and efficient organization, based upon our local market expertise and our regional and enterprise best practices.”
WellPoint, Inc. now serves approximately 34 million medical members through its Blue Cross or Blue Cross and Blue Shield operations in 14 states and its non-Blue branded operations in other states. The company now has over 42,000 associates nationwide.
John E. Zuccotti, who served on the WellChoice board of directors, will now join the WellPoint board. Zuccotti is currently the chairman of Brookfield Financial Properties and an attorney with Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP.
WellPoint, Inc. expects earnings in 2006 to reach approximately $4.51 per share. Approximately $25 million in synergies are expected to be realized in 2006 from the merger and at least $125 million in annual synergies are expected to be realized beginning in 2010. This transaction is expected to be neutral to 2006 earnings per share and accretive thereafter.
WellPoint, Inc. is the largest publicly traded commercial health benefits company in terms of membership in the United States. It is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association and serves its members as the Blue Cross licensee for California; the Blue Cross and Blue Shield licensee for Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri (excluding 30 counties in the Kansas City area), Nevada, New Hampshire, New York (as Blue Cross Blue Shield in 10 New York City metropolitan counties and as Blue Cross, Blue Shield or Blue Cross Blue Shield in selected upstate counties only), Ohio, Virginia (excluding the Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C.), Wisconsin; and through UniCare.
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