After months of reports centered around its impending sale, Envision Healthcare announced Monday it has been purchased by private investment firm KKR & Co. for $9.9 billion.
The deal comes almost two years to the day after Greenwood Village, Colorado-based Envision Healthcare Holdings Inc. merged with Nashville-based Amsurg to form one of the largest health care providers in the country.
The now soon-to-be-private Envision is No. 5 on the Nashville Business Journal’s List of largest publicly traded health care firms, with $3.7 billion of revenue in 2016.
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Envision Healthcare’s sale to KKR (NYSE: KKR) is the culmination of a seven-month strategic review by the board of directors following disappointing third-quarter 2017 earnings. At the time, the board said it would initiate a “full review of a broad range of alternatives to enhance shareholder value.”
In an SEC filing Monday, the board said going private "will help Envision to realize its aspiration to be the most trusted strategic partner for providers, health systems, communities and payors while delivering high-quality care for the patients we serve."
Envision has stayed in the headlines since its 2016 merger: acquiring at least seven physician groups and radiology firms, selling its ambulance business to the same investors that eventually bought the entire company and fighting claims of over-billing from insurance companies and the U.S. government.
Health insurer UnitedHealthcare has been embroiled in a public spat with the company since March, when Envision sued the health insurance giant for breach of contract. That case was dismissed in April, after a federal judge ordered the two parties into arbitration. Previous reports had indicated that UnitedHealthcare was interested in purchasing Envision.
Earlier this month, CEO Chris Holden lashed out at insurance companies in an op-ed published by Becker’s Hospital Review over what he called “surprise coverage” — a situation patients find themselves in when they aren’t sure how much they owe their physician or clinician at the end of a visit. Holden made a similar argument during the company’s first-quarter earnings call.
Despite the drama, Envision (NYSE: EVHC) met forecasted earnings in the past two quarters and its stock has risen more than 42 percent since the strategic review was announced in November. Envision was trading at $44.67 Monday afternoon.
Envision’s leadership team, including Holden, will remain in place. There are no immediate plans to alter company operations, according to the filing.
For another look at how Envision got to this point, click through the slideshow with this story to follow the ups and downs of the company’s two-year journey to privatization.