Shareholders of Amedisys Inc. (NASDAQ: AMED) have voted in favor of the company’s pending acquisition by the UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) subsidiary Optum.
Optum in June penned a deal to acquire Amedisys in an all-cash transaction of $101 per share, or about $3.3 billion. The transaction followed a previous offer to acquire Amedisys by the home infusion company Option Care Health (NASDAQ: OPCH) for $3.6 billion.
Amedisys’ board recommended that stockholders vote to approve the acquisition, according to an August filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
The Amedisys Board of Directors (the “Amedisys Board”) has carefully considered and unanimously approved and declared advisable the Merger Agreement …,” the filing indicated. “The Amedisys Board unanimously recommends that Amedisys stockholders vote ‘FOR’ the Amedisys Merger Proposal and ‘FOR’ each of the other proposals to be considered.”
The Baton Rouge, Louisiana-based home health and hospice provider operates 532 locations in 37 states and the District of Columbia. More than 25 million stockholders voted in favor of the deal, with close to 30,000 against, according to an SEC filing released today. Nearly 67,000 abstained.
This is the second massive home health and hospice deal for Optum.
The UnitedHealth Group subsidiary closed its $5.4 billion acquisition of LHC Group in February, citing the growing prevalence of home-based care as a driver for these investments. Another factor is the rising tide of Medicare Advantage, particularly on the home health side. UnitedHealth Group is the largest operator of MA plans in the country.
UnitedHealth Group has intensified its interest in the provider space, with Optum as its spearhead. This includes substantial investments in home-based care.
“[Taking it a] level higher up, it’s no secret that we’re very strong believers in the value of home health,” UnitedHealth Group Andrew Witty said in a second-quarter earnings call. “And no secret that we believe in the value of home health capabilities when combined with other activities in terms of wrapping care around patients. [It] is a really important element of future value-based care — particularly as you speak towards complex patients, many of whom maybe struggled to get out of the home.”