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.