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WellPoint plans debt offerings to fund Amerigroup acquisition

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Indianapolis-based WellPoint Inc., the second-biggest U.S. health insurer, is planning a four-part debt offering to help fund its $4.9 billion acquisition of Amerigroup Corp.

The operator of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield insurance plans may sell three-year, five-year, 10-year and 30-year notes as soon as Wednesday, according to a person familiar with the transaction. The offering will be of benchmark size, typically at least $500 million.

Wellpoint plans to use proceeds, along with cash on hand and commercial paper borrowings, to fund the roughly $5 billion acquisition, the company said in a filing Wednesday. The company agreed to acquire Virginia Beach, Va.-based Amerigroup in July, expanding WellPoint’s Medicaid coverage to more than 4.5 million members.

If the acquisition isn’t closed by Sept. 9, 2013, the debt will be repaid at 101 cents on the dollar, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the terms aren’t set.

The new bonds may be rated Baa2, the second-lowest level of investment grade, by Moody’s Investors Service, the person said. Citigroup Inc., Credit Suisse Group AG and Deutsche Bank AG are managing the sale.

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