KKR & Co close to acquiring WebMD Health Corp

The deal will bring a host of medical websites under KKR’s umbrella.

 

According to sources familiar with the matter at hand, KKR & Co LLP, a private equity firm is close to an all-cash deal to acquire U.S. online health publisher, WebMD Health Corp.

If it succeeds in pushing through the deal, it would bring a host of medical sites, including Medscape.com, MedicineNet.com, WebMD.com, DentalPlans.com, AllAboutCounseling.com and VeinDirectory.org under KKR’s roof.

Incidentally, WebMD has been running an auction for 5 months and has solicited bids from more than 100 companies, including private equity firms, in a bid to sell itself.

The deal is expected to be announced by Monday, said sources.

KKR’s offer price is yet to be known; it did not immediately respond to a request for comment. WebMD declined to comment.

The deal would make WebMD, the latest healthcare media company to be sold.

Founded in 1996, WebMD has grown into one of the most popular health websites for consumers and medical professionals, attracting 70 million plus unique visitors in 2016 on a monthly basis, as per comScore Inc, a data analytics company.

Incidentally, WebMD also owns Medscape, a medical education and news brand which accounted for almost 60% of its advertising revenue in 2016.

Facing a slowdown in advertising payments from pharmaceutical companies, New York-based WebMD had stated in February that it would explore its options. Following this statement, activist hedge fund Jana Partners and Blue Harbor Group have individually disclosed their respective stakes in WebMD.

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