Health

KKR buys WebMD for $2.8 billion

WebMD Health Corp. has agreed to sell itself to buyout firm KKR & Co. in a deal valued at about $2.8 billion, Bloomberg reports.

A statement on Monday said WebMD stockholders will receive $66.50 a share in cash. The price is 20 percent above Friday’s closing level and 29 percent above where the stock traded in mid-February, when the online health-care information company announced that it was considering a sale.

The sale comes after a previous attempt to find a buyer, in 2012, fell apart. WebMD, which is used by 75 million consumers each month, said in February it hired JPMorgan Chase & Co. to review strategic alternatives.

In March, activist investor Blue Harbour Group raised its stake in WebMD to 8.99 percent and disclosed talks with the company. The group’s founder and chief executive officer, Cliff Robbins, has said WebMD was likely to appeal to multiple buyers because it was underpriced and will be worth more within three years.

KKR already owns health-care companies including Air Medical Group Holdings and Arbor Pharmaceuticals LLC, among others.

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