Advent Has Held Talks to Sell Pharmacy Company Genoa

(Bloomberg) -- Private-equity firm Advent International has held talks with potential buyers about selling pharmacy company Genoa Healthcare, according to people familiar with the matter.

Genoa, which could be worth about $2.5 billion in a sale, has attracted interest from drugstore chain Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc., among other suitors, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the details aren’t public. Deliberations are ongoing and there’s no guarantee a deal will be reached, according to the people.

Genoa operates more than 400 full-service pharmacies within community mental-health centers in the U.S., and serves about 650,000 customers, according to a company fact sheet. It also has a team of more than 250 psychiatrists and nurse practitioners who provide telepsychiatry services to mental-health patients.

Representatives for Advent and Walgreens both declined to comment.

Advent, based in Boston, has invested about $40 billion across about 340 private equity deals since 1989, according to its website. It invested in Renton, Washington-based Genoa in 2015 for an undisclosed sum, alongside existing shareholders including the private equity firm Nautic Partners. The buyout firm subsequently backed Genoa’s management to acquire 1DocWay and Medication Management Systems in 2015 and 2017, respectively.

If Walgreens did buy Genoa, adding the pharmacies would give the drugstore chain another growth opportunity as its competitors consolidate and add new services. Earlier this year, it completed its acquisition of 1,932 new stores from a deal last year with Rite Aid Corp.

Walgreens’s biggest retail rival, CVS Health Corp., is buying health insurer Aetna Inc. for about $68 billion in a bid to create a vertically integrated medical company that will try to tame health-care costs and bring more services to CVS’s retail clinics. In March, Cigna Corp. cut a deal to buy Express Scripts Holding Co., a drug benefit manager, for $54 billion.

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