UnitedHealth Group, Minnetonka, Minn., has agreed to buy Sierra Health Services, Las Vegas, for $2.6 billion, or $43.50 per share, for all of the outstanding shares of Sierra stock.
The deal, already approved by both companies boards of directors, remains subject to approval of Sierra stockholders as well as regulators in California, Nevada and Texas. UnitedHealth expects the transaction to close by year-end.
UnitedHealth plans and services cover nearly 15 million Americans. Sierra has 310,000 members in employer-sponsored health plans and 320,000 members in government-sponsored programs, according to the companies. UnitedHealth Group will finance the deal with cash on hand, cash from operations and what it described as normal capital market activities.
UnitedHealth also reaffirmed plans to purchase $4 billion to $4.5 billion of its own stock in 2007 under an ongoing share repurchase program. -- by Joseph Conn