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

September 21, 2022: 

  • A U.S. judge on Monday repudiated the Justice Department’s request to thwart UnitedHealth Group Inc’s (NYSE: UNH) $13 billion buyout contract for Change Healthcare Inc (NASDAQ: CHNG).
  • The Justice Department filed a February lawsuit to thwart the acquisition on antitrust grounds.
  • The deal was declared in January 2021 at $25.75 per share in cash and was anticipated to close in the second half of 2021.
  • The judge denied the claims that the deal would unlawfully suppress competition and restrict innovation in health-insurance markets.
  • In April, UnitedHealth revealed its plans to sell Change Healthcare’s claims payment and editing business to private equity company TPG Capital for $2.2 billion, according to an SEC filing, to alleviate antitrust concerns. The Justice Department thought the offer insufficient.
  • Judge Carl Nichols told he would deny the government’s request to stop the deal and summoned the companies to go forward with an asset sale they had suggested.
  • Wall Street Journal reports that the court ruling represents an early blow to stepped-up antitrust enforcement by the Biden administration.
  • The Justice Department’s chief antitrust official, Jonathan Kanter, expressed 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 last Tuesday’s premarket session on the last check.