CVS to buy home health giant Signify Health for about $8 billion

CVS said it will pay $30.50 a share in cash for Signify, an acquisition that would build on its growing health-care services. Signify offers patient care through virtual and in-person visits, using technology and analytics to power its service.

CVS Chief Financial Officer Shawn Guertin described the acquisition as "an anchor asset" that would help the drugstore giant reach more patients and improve the quality of care.

"We could not be more pleased to have Signify be the first step on our journey to build a differentiated health services organization to transform how care is delivered," he said on an investor call on Tuesday.

Signify Health's shares have surged nearly 45% over the last month to give it a market value of about $6.7 billion at $28.77 a share as of Friday's close, according to FactSet. The Wall Street Journal reported on Aug. 2 that Signify was exploring strategic alternatives, including a sale.

Shares of Signify, which went public in February 2021, surged in late August after reports that Amazon was among the bidders.

For the past several years, CVS has added to its portfolio of health-care companies and tacked on more services to its drugstores. It acquired insurer Aetna and pharmacy benefits manager Caremark. Customers can get vaccines or urgent care at MinuteClinic outposts inside its stores. It has recently introduced mental health therapy at some stores.

With the acquisition of Signify, CVS will be able to offer care to more customers in their homes. Signify expects to visit nearly 2.5 million patients through in-person and virtual visits this year, its CEO Kyle Armbrester told investors on Tuesday.

Signify will operate as a separate business within the larger company and serve its existing network of clients from over 50 health plans, the company said.

The companies expect the acquisition, which is subject to regulatory approval, to close in the first half of next year.

Private equity firm New Mountain Capital owns about 60% of Signify's common stock and agreed to support the deal, the companies said.

Armbrester said Signify's approach works better for patients and insurance payers. He said its clinicians spend 2.5 times longer with a patient than during an average visit to a doctor's office. And by meeting people in their homes, he said health-care providers can intervene earlier or better manage a chronic condition to ultimately lower costs.

"There's a renaissance going on with the house call and we're really pushing it across the market and making a real impact in individuals lives," he told investors.