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EMIS £1.2bn takeover by US healthcare giant has completed

by Rima Evans
30 October 2023

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The sale of GP IT supplier EMIS to a US healthcare company has now gone ahead under a £1.2bn deal.

A statement from EMIS issued last Friday confirmed that it has been acquired by Optum UK, which is part of US giant UnitedHealth. It said the deal means the company is now set for ‘growth and investment’.

The statement added that: ‘The combined group will have a strong focus on serving its customers and partners in the UK’s healthcare system, whilst ensuring EMIS remains a strong long-term partner for the NHS. This change will enable us to continue to develop and expand our business in the UK through accelerated investment in healthcare technology innovation.’

‘Optum UK intends to continue EMIS’s technology development investments, such as EMIS-X,’ it also explained, and will continue to focus on areas such as interoperability and data analytics.

The sale had been the subject of an investigation by the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) but the go-ahead was given earlier this month.

The CMA had raised concerns the merger would reduce competition in the market even though the two businesses do not provide competing services – Optum supplies software used by GPs when prescribing medicines, as well as data analytics and advisory services, while EMIS supplies the electronic patient record system used by general practices.

However, the CMA wanted to examine the deal more closely since Optum and its competitors use the data that EMIS holds and integrate their own software with EMIS’s electronic patient record system to compete in other markets, including the supply of population health management services and medicines optimisation software. But, it was decided, the takeover wouldn’t harm competition or ‘adversely affect patients’.

With the sale now completed, EMIS has said will remain a predominantly UK-based business and there will be ‘no material changes to our existing operations or locations’.

Practices with any questions should contact their EMIS account manager, the company said.