CMA raises competition concerns over proposed acquisition of Emis
UK watchdog the Competition and Markets Authority has raised competition concerns regarding the proposed acquisition of healthcare software developer EMIS Group by UnitedHealth.
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In June 2022, Bordeaux UK Holdings, an affiliate of Optum Health Solutions and a wholly owned subsidiary of UnitedHealth Group, reached an agreement with EMIS on the terms and conditions of a recommended all cash offer that valued the entire issued, and to be issued, ordinary share capital of the firm at roughly £1.24bn.
However, the CMA said an initial investigation into the deal in January found that the deal could reduce competition, leading to worse outcomes for the NHS, patients and UK taxpayers.
The investigation delved into how the deal could potentially impact competition to develop and supply digital and data analytics products to the NHS and found that competition could be "substantially reduced", specifically in the population health management and medicines optimisation software markets.
Sorcha O'Carroll, senior mergers director at the CMA, said: "This deal could see the NHS lose out on the benefits of competition, including innovation in these products and services and getting better value for money. UnitedHealth has the opportunity to address our concerns, otherwise it will progress to a more in-depth investigation."
UnitedHealth and EMIS have five working days to offer legally binding proposals to the CMA to address the concerns identified and the CMA will then take an additional five working days to consider whether the pair's answers address its concerns, or if the case should be referred to the next stage.
EMIS has said it would continue to offer its full support to Bordeaux UK Holdings, also known as Bidco, in order to obtain the necessary clearance.
As of 1045 GMT, EMIS shares were down 0.33% at 1,812.0p.
Reporting by Iain Gilbert at Sharecast.com