WellPoint Health Networks Inc. and Anthem Inc. shareholders today voted in favor of merging the two firms, according to the companies. Shareholders at each company, in separate votes, voted 97% in support of the merger.
The $70.6 billion Wisconsin State Investment Board, Madison, voted for the merger, according to Vicki Hearing, public information officer. Institutional Shareholder Services recommended that its clients support the merger.
Opposing the merger were the $161 billion California Public Employees' Retirement System, Sacramento, the $10.3 billion Illinois State Board of Investment, Chicago, and other public and union pension funds, citing excessive compensation to WellPoint executives.
WellPoint is based in Thousand Oaks, Calif.; Anthem, in Indianapolis.