WellPoint completes purchase of retailer 1-800 Contacts

June 20, 2012

Health insurer WellPoint Inc. said Wednesday it completed its purchase of contact lens retailer 1-800 Contacts Inc.

WellPoint did not disclose the sale price for the acquisition from private equity firm Fenway Partners, but several news outlets, citing unnamed sources, reported a price tag of $900 million.

1-800 Contacts sells contact lenses and glasses over the phone and over the web at www.contacts.com and www.glasses.com. WellPoint announced the deal June 4 and said it closed faster than expected. The company initially said the sale would be complete early in the third quarter.

WellPoint is the second-largest U.S. health insurer in terms of enrollment and revenue, and 1-800 Contacts is its first business outside of selling health care coverage. It did not disclose the terms of its purchase of 1-800 Contacts

1-800 Contacts is based in Draper, Utah, and WellPoint said it has around 3.3 million customers.

Shares of WellPoint fell $1.02, or 1.4 percent, to $70.86 per share, in Wednesday trading.

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