You are currently viewing Court rejects U.S. bid to block UnitedHealth deal for Change Healthcare – The Business Journals

Court rejects U.S. bid to block UnitedHealth deal for Change Healthcare – The Business Journals

UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE: UNH) has won a court fight over its multibillion-dollar deal to buy Change Healthcare Inc., as a judge rejected a challenge to the deal from the U.S. Department of Justice.
U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols issued a brief ruling approving the merger and directing the companies to proceed with a planned sale of Change Healthcare’s claims-editing business to an affiliate of TPG Capital for $2.2 billion. That divestiture, announced in April, was part of the companies’ bid to resolve concerns by the Justice Department over UnitedHealth’s acquisition of Change.
A detailed opinion isn’t yet available; The Wall Street Journal reports that Nichols said the ruling may contain sensitive competitive information and that a redacted version would be released to the public within days.
A spokesman for Minnetonka-based UnitedHealth said “we are pleased with the decision and look forward to combining with Change Healthcare as quickly as possible.”
Shares of Nashville-based Change (NASDAQ: CHNG) were up nearly 7% in after-market trading at $27.20; UnitedHealth shares were roughly flat at $523.80.
UnitedHealth first announced the deal for Change Healthcare in early 2021 with plans to fold the business into its Optum health-services division. At roughly $8 billion in cash and another $5 billion in debt, it was easily the largest M&A deal announced by a Minnesota company last year.
Change Healthcare is Nashville’s largest health care IT company, with more than 870 local employees, according to Nashville Business Journal research, and $3.4 billion of revenue in 2021. UnitedHealth is the largest publicly traded company in Minnesota with $287 billion in revenue last year.
Federal regulators sued to block the acquisition, claiming it would hurt competition because it would give UnitedHealth too much insight about its rivals in the insurance and health technology fields using data collected by Change Healthcare.
UnitedHealth pointed to its plans to divest Change’s claims-editing unit and said regulators’ concerns over competition were based on “on speculation and theories unsupported by any past conduct.”
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