UnitedHealth Said Near Deal to Acquire Benefits Manager Helios

  • Potential sale could value company at as much as $1.7 billion
  • Helios is owned by private equity firms Kelso and Stone Point

UnitedHealth Group Inc., the health insurer, is in advanced talks to acquire closely held Helios in a deal that could value the employee-benefits manager at as much as $1.7 billion, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

UnitedHealth is close to agreeing a deal with Helios’ private equity owners, Kelso & Co. and Stone Point Capital, and may announce a transaction as early as this week, according to the people, who asked not to be identified as the matter is private. No final decision has been made and the talks may still fall apart, they said.

Helios, based in Memphis, Tennessee-based, was formed from the 2013 merger of PMSI Group and StoneRiver Holdings Inc.’s Progressive Medical. The company manages worker compensation claims and prescriptions for employers across America.

The deal will further expand UnitedHealth’s platform in the workers’ compensation industry following its $12.8 billion takeover of Catamaran Corp. in March this year.

A spokesman for UnitedHealth declined to comment. Representatives for Kelso and Stone Point didn’t immediately return requests for comment.

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