Shares of Magellan Health were up 2% to $71.98 in premarket trading Thursday.
The Scottsdale, Arizona-based healthcare management services company and Centerbridge could reach an agreement next month, the Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
If a deal is reached, Centerbridge may sell Magellan assets such as its pharmacy-benefit manager, which accounts for roughly one-third of revenue, the Journal said.
Centerbridge is a private investment firm that manages roughly $28 billion. It was founded in 2005. In 2012, Centerbridge acquired P. F. Chang's China Bistro, a chain of Chinese casual dining restaurants.
Magellan has been under pressure to sell itself. In February, activist hedge fund Starboard Value, which owns a roughly 10% stake in Magellan, called on the company to consider selling itself and nominated a board slate.
At the time, Starboard sent a letter to Magellan shareholders that detailed "the extensive and prolonged underperformance at Magellan."
Magellan and Starboard reached a deal for four independent directors. Magellan also agreed to form a strategic review committee and drew interest from a handful of bidders for all or part of the company, the Journal said.