Centene Corporation, a multi-line healthcare enterprise operating primarily in Medicaid managed care and specialty service, has executed definitive agreements to acquire Celtic Group, the parent company of Celtic Insurance, for a price of $80 million.

Celtic will continue to operate under its current brand and the operations will remain at its Chicago headquarters. Frederick Manning, Celtic’s chairman and CEO will remain with the organization as president and CEO of Celtic and executive vice president of Centene and will report directly to Michael Neidorff, chairman and CEO of Centene Corporation.

The purchase price for the transaction is subject to certain transaction adjustments, and will be funded through borrowings under Centene’s existing $300 million credit facility.

Mr Neidorff said: With this transaction, Centene will be uniquely positioned to partner with state customers focused on managing health care costs. This acquisition also enables us to offer a full range of healthcare solutions for the rising number of uninsured.