NU Online News Service, Nov. 23, 2004, 3:22 p.m. EST

A Tampa, Fla., managed care company says it and major shareholders plan to raise more than $350 million by selling 7.5 million shares of stock to the public.[@@]

WellCare Health Plans Inc., which is already publicly traded, wants to sell 1.5 million shares, and the shareholders want to sell 6 million shares, the company says.

One of the selling shareholders expects to give the underwriters an option to buy up to 1.13 million additional shares, the company says.

WellCare sells managed care services to Medicare programs, Medicaid programs and other government health programs. It administers care for 734,000 people in Florida, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana and New York.

The lead underwriter of the offering is Morgan Stanley & Company Inc., New York.