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UnitedHealth to buy health-care payments firm Equian for $3.2 billion: WSJ

Representatives speak with customers at a UnitedHealthcare location in Queens, New York.
Michael Nagle | Bloomberg | Getty Images

UnitedHealth has agreed to buy health-care payments firm Equian from its private-equity owner New Mountain Capital for about $3.2 billion, The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday, citing people familiar with the matter.

The sale to the U.S. health insurer is the culmination of a months-long auction process, WSJ said.

It is likely that UnitedHealth would merge Equian into its Optum unit, it added.

"We don't comment on market rumors and speculation," a UnitedHealth spokesman told Reuters.

Equian did not respond immediately to a request for comment.

UnitedHealth on Wednesday won the Federal Trade Commission's approval for its acquisition of DaVita Inc's primary and urgent care unit, which will be rolled into the company's Optum Unit.

In April, Bloomberg reported that New Mountain Capital was weighing a sale of Equian.

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Key Points
  • Notorious "pharma bro" Martin Shkreli has reached a settlement with his former biopharmaceutical company Retrophin to resolve "all outstanding disputes" just weeks after he sued two company directors and its ex-general counsel from prison.
  • Shkreli's suit, now dismissed, accused Retrophin's chairman of the board of directors, Gary Lyons, former company CEO Stephen Aselage, who currently is a director, and the firm's former top lawyer, Margaret Valeur-Jensen, of using fraud to oust him as head of the company in 2014.
  • Shkreli became infamous in 2015 after the company he founded following his ouster from Retrophin – Turing Pharmaceuticals — hiked the price of its drug Daraprim by more than 5,000%.