KKR Nears Deal to Buy Envision Healthcare

KKR & Co. is nearing a deal to buy Envision Healthcare Corp. for $46 a share, or about $5.5 billion, according to people familiar with the matter, in one of the largest recent leveraged buyouts.

The Nashville, Tenn., provider of physician services to hospitals and other health-care facilities has been conducting an auction after announcing a strategic review last fall. A deal with the private-equity firm is expected to be announced Monday, the people said.

The price represents a 5% premium to Envision’s closing price of $43.64 on Friday and nearly 70% above where the stock traded when the review was announced.

Including debt, the deal is worth about $10 billion, making it one the largest private-equity buyouts in recent years. Buyout firms are sitting on more than $1 trillion of cash, which poses a challenge with markets near all-time highs and big companies on the prowl for deals of their own.

Shares of Envision, which also provides post-acute care and ambulatory-surgery services, have fallen 23% over the past year amid questions about its billing for emergency services and disappointing performance.

Formed through the 2016 merger of Envision Healthcare Holdings Inc. and AmSurg Corp., the company has been trying to turn its operations around.

Last August, it struck a deal to sell its ambulance business to KKR portfolio company Air Medical Group Holdings Inc. for $2.4 billion.

Last November, the buyout firm also raised $1.45 billion for a new fund focused on small, fast-growing health-care companies.

As always, ADVOCATE will keep you up to date on this and all issues impacting radiology as they become available.

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Kirk Reinitz, CPA