The busiest buyout firm in the world so far this year is back at it, this time with a pair of blockbuster acquisitions in the healthcare sector.
First, KKR and portfolio company Internet Brands have agreed to buy WebMD (NASDAQ: WebMD), the provider of an online database of health information, for $66.50 per share, or about $2.8 billion. The take-private deal represents a 30% premium to WebMD’s closing price February 15, just before the sale process was announced, and a 20% premium to its closing price Friday.
KKR acquired Internet Brands from JMI Equity and Hellman & Friedman for a reported $1.1 billion in 2014. As its name indicates, the company is an owner of online brands, with a focus on the auto, health, legal, and home & travel markets. WebMD, meanwhile, is a popular healthcare website best known for allowing users to enter their symptoms and responding with a list of possible diagnoses.
In a separate deal, KKR has tapped its KKR Americas Fund XII to purchase a majority stake in herbal supplement provider Nature’s Bounty from The Carlyle Group, which bought the company in 2010 for $4 billion. Financial terms weren't disclosed, but an earlier Reuters report indicated that banks were arranging $1.5 billion in debt packages for a deal that could be valued at as much as $6 billion.
KKR likely paid a substantially lower price than that, however. The deal comes less than a month after Carlyle agreed to sell Holland & Barrett, the international division of Nature Bounty, to L1 Retail for £1.77 billion, splitting the company up rather than selling all its assets at once.