UnitedHealth to acquire Banmédica

BY Richard Summerfield

After signing a non-binding agreement in September, US healthcare company UnitedHealth Group has agreed to acquire Chilean private health insurance company Empresas Banmédica for $2.8bn.

According to an SEC regulatory filing, UnitedHealth will pay 2150 Chilean pesos per share to acquire the company. Banmédica’s two controlling shareholders have confirmed that they will tender their combined 57 percent ownership. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2018, pending the usual closing terms and conditions.

The acquisition will greatly increase UnitedHealth’s presence in the Latin American market going forward. UnitedHealth already owns Brazil’s largest healthcare company, Amil, which serves more than 4 million people. Through Amil, the company offers both health insurance and medical care services to Brazilian customers and UnitedHealth is expected to offer similar services through Banmédica in a number of Latin American countries, including Chile, Colombia and Peru.

UnitedHealth has identified opportunities to grow in emerging and established global healthcare markets by utilising its expertise as both an insurer and a provider of medical care. It has been steadily growing its insurance and data services businesses, and in 2013 acquired Amil Participações, a large provider and health insurer in Brazil. While UnitedHealth has enjoyed $200bn in annual revenue, largely from the US, it is looking to developing markets for additional growth. Banmédica generated around $2.1bn in revenues in 2016.

“Combining with UnitedHealth Group will enable Empresas Banmédica to leverage UnitedHealth Group’s clinical expertise, advanced technology, and data and health information capabilities to better meet the health needs of people in Chile, Colombia and Peru,” the companies said in a statement. “UnitedHealth Group will benefit from Empresas Banmédica’s substantial expertise in care delivery and health benefits across its three markets.”

UnitedHealth’s acquisition of Banmédica was the company’s second deal in a number of weeks, following the announcement of UnitedHealth’s $4.9bn acquisition of the DaVita Medical Group for $4.9bn in early December.

News: UnitedHealth to buy Chile's Banmedica for $2.8 billion

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