The transaction will be financed from available cash on hand, WellPoint says.
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Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed, but the Wall Street Journal reports (behind paywall) that the deal is worth $900 million.
By snapping up 1-800 CONTACTS, WellPoint aims to leverage its direct-to-consumer model and explore new opportunities for growth; the company also just teamed up with FitOrbit for the same reason.
1-800 CONTACTS sells contact lenses and higher-margin eyewear through its toll-free telephone number but also owns the websites Contacts.com and Glasses.com.
The company says it currently serves roughly 3.3 million customers.