NU Online News Service, Jan. 13, 2005, 5:52 p.m. EST

A Bethesda, Md., managed care company has agreed to give investors more information about a proposed acquisition.[@@]

Coventry Health Care Inc., Bethesda, Md., says it is willing to provide more information about the interests of “certain persons” in its efforts to acquire First Health Group Corp., Downers Grove, Ill., for $1.8 billion in cash and stock.

Coventry also has agreed to provide additional information about the opinion of First Health’s financial advisor and a comparison of the rights of shareholders of Coventry and the shareholders of First Health.

The agreement is subject to approval by a state court in Chicago.

Coventry says it is releasing the additional information to resolve a purported class-action lawsuit filed against Coventry and First Health in October 2004.

“If the court approves the settlement, the lawsuit will be dismissed with prejudice,” Coventry says in a statement about the settlement agreement.

But “Coventry and First Health vigorously deny all of the allegations in the lawsuit,” Coventry says.

First Health is best known as a company that develops provider health networks for government health programs and worker’s compensation programs. It also develops provider networks for group health carriers.