HLTH Corp. and WebMD Health Corp. are trying again with a merger plan that will leave the health Web portal the surviving company.
The companies said they have entered into a definitive merger agreement through which HLTH will be folded into WebMD. The tax-free, all-stock transaction will allow HLTH stockholders to receive a direct ownership in the new company, according to a news release. WebMD is taking on about $515 million in long-term debt now carried by HLTH as a result of the merger. The deal is expected to close in the third or fourth quarter of 2009, pending regulatory approval.
HLTH tried to fold itself into WebMD last February in a combined cash and stock deal, but it fell through in October. The companies cited the downturn in the economy and a desire to keep WebMD unsaddled by debt as reasons for the failed attempt.