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Scoop: Optum M&A spree continues with Texas buy

Sarah Pringle
Jun 1, 2022
Illustration of a stethoscope with a high price tag
Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

UnitedHealth Group's Optum has scooped up Healthcare Associates of Texas from Webster Equity Partners, sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: The deal is yet another data point that reflects Optum's intent to build large clinician groups in key health care markets, along with its dedication to value-based care.

  • HCAT has a big provider footprint in the Dallas-Fort Worth region, one of the largest metro areas in the country, and the largest in its home state.
  • The platform is well-positioned and has begun to transition to value-based care, sources say, offering broad ancillary services around its core primary care platform. Services include a wellness clinic for chronic health problems, pharmacy services, imaging, and similar.

Details: Optum's acquisition assigns HCAT an enterprise value approaching $300 million and implies a high-teens EBITDA multiple, sources say.

  • SVB Securities advised HCAT on the transaction, the people add. SVB also advised LHC Group on its recent $5.4 billion sale to Optum.
  • United has coveted HCAT and made past overtures for the business, sources add.
  • Healthcare PE shop Webster invested in HCAT in 2016, and built the platform through M&A and accelerating its ancillary service strategy.

Between the lines: The deal adds to Optum's recent buying streak, coming on the heels of other major provider bets.

Yes, and: Value-based care is a recurring theme that Optum is investing behind.

  • Optum in 2021 scooped up Landmark Health, an home care provider going after the sickest and most complicated populations.
  • And in 2020 it bought CD&R's naviHealth, which aims to reduce the cost of post-acute health care. The deal was valued at $2.5 billion including debt, Sarah reported at the time.

Meanwhile, an SEC filing in April disclosed that TPG Capital agreed to buy ClaimsXten from Change Healthcare for $2.2 billion, contingent on Optum completing its $8 billion deal for Change.

πŸ‘€ What we're watching: Optum's next buy.

  • β€œI’d say, overall, our pipeline of opportunities I actually think is probably as diverse as it's ever been and as deep as it’s ever been,” UnitedHealth CEO Andrew Witty told investors in April.

Webster and Optum did not return requests for comment.

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