Salem Radio Network News Saturday, September 23, 2023


UnitedHealth offers over $3 billion in cash for home health firm Amedisys

(Reuters) – Amedisys Inc on Monday received a $3.26 billion all-cash buyout offer from UnitedHealth Group, a month after the home health company agreed to be bought by Option Care Health.

UnitedHealth’s Optum unit offered to buy Amedisys for $100 per share in cash, compared to roughly $97.38 per share Option Care Health Inc agreed to pay in an all-stock deal last month.

Optum’s offer was at a 26% premium to Amedisys’ last close price, and sent the company’s shares up 15% to $91.50 in early trading.

UnitedHealth has been on an acquisition spree. It acquired Change Healthcare for nearly $8 billion in cash last year and home health firm LHC Group for $5.4 billion earlier this year.

A deal to buy Amedisys, a healthcare-at-home firm that also provides hospice care at the end of life, would boost Optum’s value-based care business, the UnitedHealth unit said.

Home healthcare companies have been acquisition targets over the last couple of years, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic, as patients and caregivers increasingly prefer to access vital services from the safety of their homes.

Amedisys’ board has not yet determined whether Optum’s offer could be superior to Option Health’s deal and is currently in exploratory discussions with the UnitedHealth unit.

It’s not surprising that a health insurer has come over the top for Amedisys given a strong interest in home-based care and the modest breakup fee of $106 million, William Blair analyst Matt Larew said in a research note.

“We would anticipate regulatory scrutiny but suspect Optum’s experience with the FTC during the LHC process gives it confidence this deal would close as well,” Larew said.

Option Care said its offer was still a “compelling all-stock transaction” and provided “near- and long-term value creation opportunities”.

(Reporting by Leroy Leo in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva, Shounak Dasgupta and Shinjini Ganguli)


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