LHC Group delays $5.4B merger with UnitedHealth


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Nona Tepper

A $5.4 billion proposed merger between UnitedHealth Group and LHC Group won’t consummate as planned by the end year, LHC Group disclosed to the Securities and Exchange Commission Tuesday.

LHC Group, a home health provider, did not specify why it moved the target for completing the deal to March. The two companies did not immediately respond to interview requests.

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

The Federal Trade Commission requested more information about the deal in June, extending by 30 days the length of time 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 certified their substantial compliance with the FTC’s request on Tuesday, according to LHC Group’s SEC filing.

The delay comes a month after the Justice Department renewed its challenge to UnitedHealth Group’s $13 billion acquisition of technology company Change Healthcare. A federal judge denied the agency’s attempt to block the transaction over antitrust concerns in September, and the two companies merged shortly after. New York and Minnesota also appealed the court’s decision.

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