December 22, 2014 6:24 AM

Anthem, Inc. (NYSE: ANTM) announced today that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Simply Healthcare Holdings, Inc. (“Simply Healthcare”), which, through its two subsidiaries, Simply Healthcare Plans, Inc. and Better Health, Inc., is a leading managed care company for people enrolled in Medicaid and Medicare programs in the state of Florida.

“This acquisition aligns with Anthem’s strategy for continued growth in our government business division,” said Joseph Swedish, president and CEO of Anthem, Inc. “Simply Healthcare’s strong presence and solid provider relationships further strengthens our Medicaid and Medicare companies’ positioning and advances the companies’ capabilities to more effectively and efficiently serve these populations in Florida – a key market for growth.”

Simply Healthcare, through its affiliates, offers a variety of Medicare and Medicaid plans to members in 60 Florida counties and serves more than 170,000 Medicaid and more than 22,000 Medicare members. Upon completion, Anthem, through its affiliated Medicaid and Medicare plans, will serve more than 500,000 members in Florida. Clear Health Alliance, offered by Simply Healthcare, is 1 of only 4 HIV/AIDS special needs plans across the country and is the only statewide HIV/AIDS special needs plan in Florida. There are an estimated 3.6 million Medicaid-eligible recipients, 2.3 million Medicare recipients and approximately 106,000 people living with HIV/AIDS in Florida.

“Anthem’s acquisition of Simply Healthcare Holdings validates the quality of the company which management and the Simply team has built. A company is representative of its people and their commitment to overall excellence, both of which have propelled Simply’s unique business,” said Miguel “Mike” Fernandez, chairman of MBF Healthcare Partners, L.P., which is the majority owner of Simply Healthcare Holdings, Inc.

“We at Simply Healthcare are extremely pleased with the announcement of the acquisition,” said Lourdes T. Rivas, CEO of Simply Healthcare Plans. “Both organizations share the vision of providing our members with the tools necessary to enable them to achieve optimal health through an outstanding network of providers and high touch, local customer service delivered with the highest level of respect and service.”

Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The acquisition is expected to close in the first half of 2015 and is subject to certain state regulatory approvals, standard closing conditions and customary approvals required under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act. The transaction is expected to be neutral to earnings in 2015. We continue to expect full year 2014 net income to be within the range of $8.83 – $8.93 per share, including $0.08 per share of net favorable items from the first three quarters. Excluding these items, we continue to expect adjusted net income to be within the range of $8.75 – $8.85 per share. This guidance includes no investment gains or losses beyond those recorded during the first nine months of 2014.