UnitedHealth, Amazon are among bidders for Signify

UnitedHealth, Amazon are among bidders for Signify
Credit: Signify

Signify Health Inc. soared the most since its shares started trading last year as UnitedHealth Group Inc., Amazon.com Inc., CVS Health Corp. and Option Care Health Inc. competed to acquire the home-health technology and services provider, according to people familiar with the matter.

UnitedHealth has submitted the highest bid in excess of $30 a share, while Amazon's offer is close behind, the people said, asking not to be identified as the discussions are private. Signify is holding a board meeting Monday to discuss the bids, the people said.

Signify's shares rose as much as 41% to $29.88 in New York, the most intraday since the company began trading in February 2021. The stock had climbed 6.7% through Friday after the Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month that CVS was mulling a bid for the company. The newspaper earlier also reported Amazon was among the bidders.

No plans are finalized, the bidders' plans could still change, and Signify could opt to remain independent. Signify didn't immediately respond to a request for comment sent on Sunday. Representative for CVS, Amazon and UnitedHealth declined to comment. Option Care didn't immediately respond.

Final bids are expected Sept. 6, but a deal could come earlier if any of the parties preempt the sales process, the people said.

Diverse buyers

It's a diverse set of buyers circling Signify. Amazon is an e-commerce behemoth based in Seattle; UnitedHealth is a Minneapolis-based conglomerate that insures nearly 46 million Americans; Rhode Island-based CVS is a retailer and insurer; and Option Care is an Illinois-based home health-care provider that's partly owned by Walgreens.

UnitedHealth and Amazon have so far offered to pay the highest amount for Signify but challenges remain.

Concerns about competition in technology and health care are mounting after Amazon recently agreed to acquire primary-care clinic company One Medical. Acquisitions by Amazon tend to get a hard look from U.S. regulators.

UnitedHealth, meanwhile, is fighting in court to carry out its proposed acquisition of Change Healthcare Inc. after the Justice Department sued to block the deal, saying it would give the company access to about rival health insurers.

Through its software and services, Signify aims to help clients—payers like , and employers—shift to value-based payment plans. It's backed by firm New Mountain Capital, which formed the company in 2017, according to the firm's website.

Companies like Signify intend to improve care and reduce spending by treating patients in lower-cost settings and linking providers' payments to patient outcomes.

Other small providers of -care technology rose after the news. Oak Street Health Inc. rose as much as 3.3%, Cano Health Inc. soared as much as 17% and Caremax Inc. jumped as much as 4.4%.

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