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WebMD Agrees To Sell Itself To KKR At A 20% Premium

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WebMD Agrees To Sell Itself To KKR At A 20% Premium

WebMD Health Corp. (NASDAQ: WBMD), a provider of health information services that is mostly known for its online platform webmd.com, and Medscape.com confirmed Monday morning it has agreed to sell itself to the private equity giant KKR for $66.50 per share in cash.

The transaction values WebMD at $2.8 billion and represents a premium of approximately 20 percent based on Friday's closing price of $55.19.

As part of the merger agreement, WebMD will be absorbed by a KKR portfolio company called Internet Brands, a leading SaaS and web-hosting player in the health space that serves millions of consumers and more than 50,000 health care practices.

Monday's announcement shouldn't have been a surprise for many investors as Dealreporter suggested in May that WebMD has fielded various buyout offers and the sale process began in late March.

"WebMD and Medscape are the market leaders in online health with unparalleled reach to consumers and healthcare professionals," said Bob Brisco, CEO of Internet Brands. "Since its founding, WebMD has established itself as a trusted resource for health information. We look forward to delivering that resource to even more users, by leveraging our combined resources and presence in online healthcare to catalyze WebMD's future growth."

"After a thorough review of strategic alternatives, we are pleased to announce this transaction, which provides our stockholders with immediate and significant cash value and a substantial premium," said Martin J. Wygod, chairman of WebMD. "Throughout this process, our Board has conducted diligent analysis and thoughtful deliberations. WebMD and its financial advisors had a process that involved outreach to more than 100 strategic and financial parties, and we are confident that this transaction maximizes value for our stockholders."

In Monday's pre-market session, shares of WebMD were up 19.73 percent at $66.08.

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Image Credit: By WebMD, LLC (WebMD website) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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