December 22, 2017 / 2:13 PM / a year ago

UnitedHealth to buy Chile's Banmedica for $2.8 billion

FILE PHOTO -- The logo of UnitedHealthcare is shown in Cypress, California April 13, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo

(Reuters) - UnitedHealth Group Inc (UNH.N) said on Friday it signed a definitive agreement to buy Chilean healthcare company Banmedica SA (BAN.SN) for $2.8 billion, expanding the health insurer’s footprint in South America.

Banmedica operates health insurance, clinics and other services.

UnitedHealth will offer 2,150 pesos per share and the two controlling shareholders of Banmedica will tender their combined 57 percent ownership, the U.S. company said in a regulatory filing. bit.ly/2Bm24tw

The companies had signed a non-binding agreement in September.

“We view international as a selective supplement to UNH’s growth, while the primary growth driver and M&A focus will be building out the vertical integration strategy with Optum (UnitedHealth’s unit) in the U.S.,” Evercore ISI analysts said in a note.

Reporting by Ankur Banerjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel

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