Merger of UnitedHealth-LHC Group postponed | Modern healthcare

The proposed $5.4 billion merger between UnitedHealth Group and LHC Group will not be completed as planned by the end of the year, the LHC Group told the Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday.

LHC Group, a home healthcare provider, did not elaborate on why it pushed back its target to close the deal to March. Both companies did not immediately respond to interview requests.

UnitedHealth Group announced its plan to acquire LHC in March of this year and incorporate it into its healthcare subsidiary Optum.

The Federal Trade Commission requested more information about the deal in June, extending by 30 days the time period that companies must wait before closing the deal if regulators approve it. The FTC, which did not respond to an interview request, did not disclose at the time why it was scrutinizing the proposed deal.

The two companies confirmed their substantial compliance with the FTC’s request on Tuesday, according to the LHC Group SEC filing.

The delay comes a month after the Justice Department resumed challenging UnitedHealth Group’s $13 billion acquisition of tech company Change Healthcare. A federal judge dismissed the agency’s attempt to block the deal due to antitrust concerns in September, and the two companies merged shortly thereafter. New York and Minnesota also appealed the ruling.

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