Private equity firm KKR has agreed to buy health information giant WebMD in a deal valued at about $2.8 billion. Fred Katayama reports.
Private equity firm KKR is buying online health information provider WebMD for about $2.8 billion. KKR is paying $66.50 per share. That's a premium of more than twenty percent to WebMD's Friday closing price. On Monday, WebMD's stock skyrocketed on the news of the deal. Founded in 1996, WebMD has grown into one of the most popular health websites. It attracted more than seventy million monthly unique visitors last year, according to analytics company comScore. But in February, the company put itself up for sale due to a slowdown in advertising. Lauren Hirsch covers the story for Reuters. (SOUNDBITE) LAUREN HIRSCH, CORRESPONDENT, REUTERS (ENGLISH) SAYING: "There was a lot of uncertainty whether or not the deal will even get done, so, I think that's why some analyst are saying 'higher than expected,' but kind of taking a step back, on a grand scheme of things, it's still kind of not the premium that you might see for many M&A deals. So, it was... KKR might have gotten a better price than people or higher price than people expected, still, on the grand scheme of things, a pretty good price for an M&A acquisition." With WebMD, KKR is getting several other health information websites, including Medscape.com. It will fold all of them into its Internet Brands unit. which houses sites such as DentalPlans.com and AllAboutCounseling.com.