Fitch: Optum-Change merger won't lower UnitedHealth's rating

UnitedHealth Group's planned merger of OptumInsight and Change Healthcare won't affect the insurer's strong rating from Fitch Ratings, the credit agency said Jan. 8. 

On Jan. 6, news broke that Nashville, Tenn.-based data analytics firm Change Healthcare will combine with OptumInsight in a deal amounting to about $13 billion. The merger, which is expected to close in the second half of 2021, includes the refinancing of about $5 billion in Change Healthcare debt. 

UnitedHealth will fund the deal with debt issuance across many maturities, Fitch said in its affirmation of the healthcare organization's "AA-" (very strong) rating. 

"The [UnitedHealth] management team has a successful record of acquisitions and there appears to be a sound strategic fit with the [Change Healthcare] merger," Fitch said. "[Change Healthcare] will join with OptumInsight to provide software and data analytics, technology-enabled services and research, advisory and revenue cycle management offerings targeted at improving healthcare outcomes."

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