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WellPoint to Buy Amerigroup for $4.9 Billion in Cash

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WellPoint Inc., the second-biggest U.S. health insurer, will buy Amerigroup Corp. for $4.9 billion, a move that may spur a wave of acquisitions as companies compete to manage an expanding Medicaid market.

Amerigroup stockholders will receive $92 a share in cash, 43 percent more than the July 6 closing price, according to today’s statement by the two companies. The agreement makes Indianapolis-based WellPoint the biggest private provider of Medicaid coverage for the poor with 4.5 million members, eclipsing the 3.5 million served by UnitedHealth Group Inc.