UnitedHealth Group Inc. (UNH) - Get UnitedHealth Group Incorporated Report shares edged lower Friday following report that it's ready to buy healthcare payments group Equian LLC for around $3.2 billion.
The Wall Street Journal said the deal would see Equian sold by its private equity owners, Mountain Capital, and likely merged into UnitedHealth's Optum division, which recently closed its $4.3 billion purchase of DaVita medical group after getting Federal Trade Commission approval on Wednesday. UnitedHealth must now sell one of DaVita's units in Las Vegas to a Utah-based group called Intermountain Healthcare in order to abide by the FTC's decision.
UnitedHealth shares were marked 0.11% lower at the start of trading Friday to change hands at $247.49 each, a move that would leave the stock with a year-to-date decline of around 0.5%.
Indianapolis-based Equian, a payments specialist in the heatlhcare sector, was bought by New Mountain for $225 million in 2015 from Great Point Partners and then merged with another regional group, Trover Solutions.
Earlier this year, Bloomberg reported that its private equity owners were exploring a sale that would value it at around $3.5 billion.