Illustration: Lazaro Gamio / Axios

Health insurer UnitedHealth has at least a tentative agreement to buy specialty pharmacy operator Genoa Health from private equity firm Advent International, Axios has learned from a source familiar with the deal.

Bottom line: UnitedHealth is basically seeking to control a specialty channel by buying Genoa, whose 400 full-service pharmacies are located within community mental health centers.

  • We also hear that Genoa CEO John Figueroa will move on, with Genoa chief commercial officer Mark Peterson running the business for UnitedHealth.
  • Bloomberg yesterday reported that the sale price could be over $2 billion, but without naming UnitedHealth (instead it reported Walgreens as a possible suitors). No comment from any of the involved parties.
  • This is part of a broader trend of pharmacy/health insurer tie-ups, such as CVS buying Aetna.
  • No comment from Genoa, UnitedHealth or Advent.

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