UnitedHealth Bought Pharmacy Company Avella to Build Optum Unit

(Bloomberg) -- UnitedHealth Group Inc. bought Avella Specialty Pharmacy last quarter, a previously undisclosed deal by the health-services giant that will further boost its already-growing pharmacy offerings.

Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, and UnitedHealth declined to provide any further details about the takeover, which was identified in the company’s third-quarter earnings press release on Tuesday.

Privately-held Avella, based in Phoenix, had revenue of $1.35 billion in 2017, according to its listing on the Inc. 5000, a ranking of fast-growing companies. The company has been on the list for more than a decade, and the list said that the company had three-year revenue growth of 71 percent.

“The combination of OptumRx and Avella will improve specialty-pharmacy care services and health outcomes for consumers, while helping reduce overall health-care costs,” Optum spokesman Matt Stearns said in an email.

The Avella acquisition came in the same quarter that UnitedHealth purchased Genoa Healthcare, a behavioral health pharmacy chain, for about $2.5 billion. The expansions contributed to accelerating revenue growth in the company’s OptumRx pharmacy segment, which reported sales of $17.4 billion in the third quarter, up 9.3 percent from the previous year.

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