UnitedHealth, Anthem top runners in Magellan Health sale

UnitedHealth Group and Anthem are rumored to be late-round picks to takeover health plan and pharmacy benefit manager Magellan Health, according to Forbes contributor Bruce Japsen.

The news, originally reported by Dealreporter, pits Anthem and UnitedHealth against private equity firms who are also vying for Magellan, according to StreetInsider. According to Mr. Japsen, Magellan, which specializes in behavioral health services in addition to its Medicaid and PBM businesses, would be in line with Anthem's strategy to add specialty services to its portfolio.

He also noted that Anthem's new PBM IngenioRx could benefit from increased enrollment under a possible Magellan deal.

SVB Leerink analyst Ana Gupte said in an April 18 research note cited by Forbes that "We see Anthem and UnitedHealth Group as the most likely buyers in light of their synergies with Medicaid in Complete Care, and the PBM across IngenioRx and OptumRx. OptumRx is seeking specialty Rx and we expect UnitedHealth is looking for regional players to shore up Medicaid. Anthem is poised as well to build their third-party services platform."

UnitedHealth and Anthem did not comment on the reports, according to Forbes.

Reports surfaced in February that Magellan would seek a sale to boost its value after shares dropped nearly 40 percent since April 2018.

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