UnitedHealth, the largest U.S. health insurer, said Thursday that it has agreed to buy Equian LLC, a provider of health care payments, for about $3.2 billion, according to media reports.
Equian provides payment processing services for healthcare companies and insurance companies. UnitedHealthcare, with a market value of $235 billion, is the parent company of UnitedHealthcare, the largest health insurance provider in the United States.
Healthcare is the second most active sector in the us this year, after technology, with more than $260bn of deals announced so far, according to Dealogic.
The Wall Street Journal said the deal would allow Equian to sell its private equity owner, Mountain Capital, and possibly merge into UnitedHealth’s Optum unit, which was recently approved by the Federal Trade Commission on Wednesday. It bought DaVita Medical Group for $4.3 billion. UnitedHealth must now sell one of its DaVita units in Las Vegas to Intermountain Healthcare Group in Utah to comply with the FTC’s decision.
Equian, based in Indianapolis, is a payments specialist in the heat treatment industry and was acquired by Great Point Partners for $225m in 2015 before merging with Trover Solutions, another regional group.
Earlier this year, bloomberg reported that Equian’s private equity owners were exploring a sale worth about $3.5 billion.