IBM strikes deal to sell Watson Health

IBM has reached a deal with investment firm Francisco Partners to sell its data and assets from Watson Health. 

The sale may be an effort to streamline IBM's operations and focus the company on cloud-computing, the Wall Street Journal reported Jan. 21. 

"IBM remains committed to Watson, our broader AI business, and to the clients and partners we support in healthcare IT," Tom Rosamilia, senior vice president of IBM Software, said in a Jan. 21 news release. "Through this transaction, Francisco Partners acquires data and analytics assets that will benefit from the enhanced investment and expertise of a healthcare industry focused portfolio." 

The price of the acquisition was not disclosed. Francisco Partners has invested previously in over 400 technology companies, including Capsule, GoodRx and Zocdoc, and currently manages over $30 billion in assets. 

Watson Health uses artificial intelligence to assist hospitals, payers and pharmaceutical companies manage their data. Its product portfolio includes technologies that analyze diagnostic tests and assist with patient communications and other pieces of healthcare data. According to Wall Street Journal reporting from 2021, the business made about $1 billion in annual revenue but was not profitable.

The deal is still subject to regulatory clearances and is expected to close in the second quarter of 2022, according to the news release.

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