Advisory Board approves sale to UnitedHealth’s Optum

Shareholders of the Advisory Board Company signed off on the $1.3 billion sale of its healthcare division to UnitedHealth Group’s Optum health services segment.

Under the deal approved by the majority of Advisory Board shareholders, they’ll receive an estimated $53.81 per share, $52.65 in cash and an additional $1.16 based on the per share, after tax value of the company’s equity in Evolent Health. The sale is part of a larger divestment by Advisory Board, with its separate education business being sold to Vista Equity Partners for $1.55 billion.

The press release announcing the deal had been finalized said it would combine Advisory Board’s research, consulting and analytics services for more than 4,400 organizations with Optum’s “data analytics resources,” “operational expertise” and “investment capital” to allow Advisory Board to expand into new markets.

“For more than 30 years, Advisory Board's strategic insights have been an important part of the national health care conversation, and we are thrilled to welcome them to Optum,” Larry Renfro, CEO of Optum, said in a statement. “Together, we will be able to offer deeper and more comprehensive solutions to help all segments of the health care industry thrive in this evolving market, while preserving the objectivity and credibility of Advisory Board's industry-leading research.”

Advisory Board will be a wholly-owned subsidiary of Optum, with CEO Robert Musselwhite remaining in charge of its research and technology business.

“Joining Optum enables us to forge a stronger and more comprehensive platform to serve our members with an even wider set of insights and solutions and amplifies the value we help create across all of health care,” Musselwhite said. “We look forward to serving as even more transformational partners for our members as part of Optum.”

The deal had first been reported by Bloomberg in July and then later officially announced by the two companies in August.