Amazon among bidders for Signify Health

Eyeing expansion: Residents in front of a CVS outlet in Los Angeles, California. CVS Health is one of several interested parties who are bidding to takeover Signify Health, a provider of technology and services for home health. — AFP

NEW YORK: UnitedHealth Group Inc, Inc, CVS Health Corp and Option Care Health Inc are vying to acquire Signify Health Inc, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

UnitedHealth has submitted the highest bid in excess of US$30 (RM134) a share, while Amazon’s offer is close behind, said the people, asking not be identified as the discussions are private.

Signify, a provider of technology and services for home health, was scheduled to hold a board meeting yesterday to discuss the bids, the people said.

No plans are finalised, the bidders’ plans could still change, and Signify could always opt to remain independent. Signify didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment sent on Sunday.

Representatives for CVS, Amazon and UnitedHealth declined to comment. Option Care didn’t immediately respond.

Signify’s shares closed at US$21.20 (RM95) last Friday, giving the company a valuation of nearly US$5bil (RM22.4bil).

The stock has climbed 6.7% since the Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month that CVS was mulling a bid for the company. The newspaper earlier reported that Amazon was among the bidders.

Final bids are expected on Sept 6, but a deal could come earlier if any of the parties preempt the sales process, the people said.

There’s a diverse set of buyers circling Signify.

UnitedHealth is a health-care conglomerate based in Minneapolis that insures nearly 46 million Americans, Rhode Island-based CVS is a retailer and insurer and Option Care is an Illinois-based home health-care provider that is partly owned by Walgreens.

UnitedHealth and Amazon have so far offered to pay the highest amount for Signify, but challenges remain.

Concerns about competition in technology and health care are mounting after Amazon recently agreed to acquire primary-care clinic company One Medical. Acquisitions by Amazon tend to get a hard look from US regulators.

UnitedHealth, meanwhile, is fighting in court to carry out its proposed acquisition of Change Healthcare Inc after the Justice Department sued to block the deal, saying it would give the company access to sensitive information about rival health insurers.

Through its software and services, Signify aims to help clients – payers like health plans, government programmes and employers –shift to value-based payment plans.

It’s backed by private equity firm New Mountain Capital, which formed the company in 2017, according to the firm’s website.

Companies like Signify intend to improve care and reduce spending by treating patients in lower-cost settings and linking providers’ payments to patient outcomes. — Bloomberg

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