Customers get information from a reception desk at a a UnitedHealthcare store in the Queens borough of New York, U.S.( Photographer: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg)

UnitedHealth Purchases Pharmacy Genoa Healthcare From Advent

(Bloomberg) -- UnitedHealth Group Inc. bought pharmacy company Genoa Healthcare from private equity group Advent International. The price was about $2.5 billion, according to a person familiar with the transaction.

UnitedHealth, the biggest U.S. health insurer, beat out other parties including drugstore chain Walgreens Boots Alliance, which was said to be interested in Genoa in August, according to the person, who requested anonymity because the talks were private.

Genoa runs more than 425 pharmacies in behavioral-health centers in 46 states, according to its website, serving more than 650,000 people. It also has a team of more than 250 psychiatrists and nurse practitioners who provide telepsychiatry services to mental-health patients.

The company will be wrapped into UnitedHealth’s pharmacy benefit group OptumRx to improve care for patients with behavioral health and substance-abuse problems, according to a statement from UnitedHealth confirming the deal.

A representative for Advent declined to comment. The Boston-based firm bought an 80 percent stake in Genoa in 2015.

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