- Yesterday, WebMD Health Corp. released a one-line denial that the company is negotiating a sale, following a Financial Times report that suggested it was in talks with suitors including UnitedHealth Group and Walgreens Boots Alliance.
- Even if there is truth to the speculation, a deal isn't necessarily likely to result from the talks. As the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal notes, WebMD has previously taken itself off the market after receiving unsatisfactory offers.
- UnitedHealth and Walgreens only responded to media inquiries by saying they don't comment on rumors or speculation.
Deal or no deal, the speculation is catching attention because it makes sense, experts say.
"The news of potential bidders comes as large healthcare corporations like Walgreens and UnitedHealth have been making big investments in digital health, seeing information about illnesses, preventive medical care and wellness as critical to controlling healthcare costs," writes Forbes' Bruce Japsen.
He says bankers representing WebMD have reportedly reached out to other health insurers as well, and the company could command more than $2 billion based on its estimated market value.
Cowen & Co. analyst Charles Rhyee added in an investor note Thursday Walgreens already works with WebMD on digital projects and UnitedHealth could be interested in integrating WebMD into Optum.