Humana, 2 equity firms to acquire hospice operator Curo Health for $1.4B: 6 things to know

Humana, in partnership with two private equity firms, will purchase hospice operator Curo Health Services, based in Mooresville, N.C., for $1.4 billion — marking the trio's second deal in five months to beef up its hospice care portfolio, reports Reuters.

Here are six things to know.

1. The trio, which includes Humana, TPG Capital, and Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe, will merge Curo Health Services with the hospice business of Louisville, Ky.-based Kindred Healthcare, which it agreed to acquire in December for $4.1 billion in cash including assumption of debt.

2. After the deal to buy Curo Health is finalized and its hospice business is merged with Kindred, the trio will become the largest hospice operator in the U.S.

3. Under the terms of the deal Humana will retain a 40 percent stake in Curo Health, while the other two firms together will hold a 60 percent stake.

4. The deal is expected to close in summer 2018.

5. The deal is the latest in a rapidly consolidating healthcare industry and follows reports that retail giant Walmart is in talks to develop a closer partnership with Humana or purchase it.

6. Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Steven Halper told Reuters the Curo acquisition is financially prudent for Humana and indicates that Humana should not just be viewed as a takeover target for Walmart. He also added that with the acquisition and deeper move into the hospice space, a closer partnership between Humana and Walmart is entirely possible.

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