The health and medical site WebMD was acquired by the KKR holding giant for $ 2.8 billion. The purchase is made five months after the site declared that it is looking for a buyer. The purchase price represents a premium of 20% of the closing price on Friday. The share rose at a similar rate after the news was published.
WebMD chairman Martin Wygod said in response that the company had examined 100 potential buyers and strategic partners: “We are confident that this transaction maximizes the value for our shareholders,” he said, adding that earnings and revenue improved in the last quarter.
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Under the terms of the deal, which will be completed in the final quarter of the year, WebMD will become part of the KKR brand chain, which started from CarsDirect but expanded to a wide range of sites before it was acquired by KKR in 2014.
Health sites include FitDay, eHealth Forum, and eDoctors.
Founded in 1996, WebMD has become one of the most popular health sites for both consumers and professionals. In 2016 more than 70 million users entered the site. WebMD is owned by the medical and education brand Medscape, which last year accounted for 60% of its advertising revenue. In February, the New York-based company announced that it was reviewing its options, against the backdrop of a slowdown in advertising expenses by pharmaceutical companies.
The transaction will be completed in the fourth quarter of 2017.