After Amedisys Shareholders Approve Optum Deal, Focus Turns Toward DOJ Inquiry

The Optum-Amedisys Inc. (Nasdaq: AMED) deal continues to inch forward after the latter’s shareholders voted to approve the merger agreement on Friday.

Amedisys stockholders voted to make the move in a 25,069,466 to 30,082 vote, while 67,374 shares voted to abstain, according to a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing.

The outcome of the vote was to be expected, according to Les Levinson, co-chair of the transactional health care practice Robinson & Cole LLP.


Optum — UnitedHealth Group’s (NYSE: UNH) health care services arm — originally announced that it had agreed to purchase Amedisys in a $3.3 billion deal in June.

Amedisys is a Baton Rouge, Louisiana-based home-based care company that operates in 37 states and the District of Columbia. The company offers home health and hospice, as well as high-acuity services in the home through its subsidiary, Contessa Health.

Now that the vote to merge has received shareholders’ approval, other matters will come into focus.


“The next big step forward for them is going to be satisfying the DOJ inquiry for additional information, so that’s probably the next big hurdle that’s coming down the pike,” Levinson told Home Health Care News.

Last month, the Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a request for additional information regarding the acquisition.

“There’s a little bit more impetus to make sure that they can comply with those requests and satisfy what the government is looking for now that they have shareholder approval, and expectations are that the transaction is going to continue to move forward,” Levinson said. “I think you’re going to be seeing some level of additional activity over the coming months until they can get through that line of inquiry.”

Optum’s move to acquire Amedisys follows its $5.4 billion purchase of the large home health and hospice company LHC Group back in February.

The Lafayette, Louisiana-based LHC Group delivers care in 37 states through 527 locations. The company’s services include home health, hospice, home- and community-based services and facility-based care.

With this in mind, Levinson believes that – while the universe of publicly traded home-based care companies is small – another big deal may eventually take place.

“Enhabit announced recently that they were considering strategic alternatives,” he said. “When you use the word strategic alternatives that often means, looking at everything top to bottom, including a sale transaction. They could be the one more likely to do something than some of the other players.”

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