Judge Says Yes To $13B UnitedHealth-Change Healthcare Merger: Report

  • A U.S. judge on Monday denied the Justice Department's request to stop UnitedHealth Group Inc's UNH $13 billion buyout deal for Change Healthcare Inc CHNG.
  • The Justice Department had filed a lawsuit in February aimed at stopping the acquisition on antitrust grounds.
  • The deal was announced in January 2021 at $25.75 per share in cash and was expected to close in the second half of 2021.
  • The judge rejected the claims that the deal would unlawfully suppress competition and limit innovation in health-insurance markets.
  • In April, UnitedHealth announced its plans to sell Change Healthcare's claims payment and editing business to private equity firm TPG Capital for $2.2 billion, according to an SEC filing, to ease antitrust concerns. The Justice Department considered the offer insufficient.
  • Judge Carl Nichols said he would deny the government's request to stop the deal and ordered the companies to go forward with an asset sale they had proposed.
  • Wall Street Journal writes that the court ruling represents an early blow to stepped-up antitrust enforcement by the Biden administration. 
  • The Justice Department's top antitrust official, Jonathan Kanter, said the department disagreed with the decision and considered its next steps.
  • Price Action: UNH shares closed at $523.55 on Monday. CHNG stock is up 7.38% at $27.35 during the premarket session on the last check Tuesday.
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