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Conseco shoots for $222M in stock offering

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Supplemental health and life insurer Conseco Inc. said Wednesday it has priced a public offering of 45 million shares of common stock at $4.75 each to raise estimated proceeds after expenses of about $202.4 million.

The price represents a 7.6-percent discount to the stock's closing price Wednesday, but is 2 cents per share more than Conseco originally thought it might price the offering when it announced it earlier this week.

The company could raise as much as $222.7 million if underwriters fully exercise their 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 4.5 million shares.

The company plans to use at least $150 million to repay debt under its senior credit agreement. The remaining proceeds will be used for general corporate purposes.

The offering is set to close on Dec. 22.

Morgan Stanley & Co. Inc. is acting as bookrunning manager, with Credit Suisse Securities LLC, FBR Capital Markets & Co. and Macquarie Capital Inc. as co-managers.

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