Health benefits manager CareCentrix explores sale: sources

(Reuters) - CareCentrix Inc, a U.S. benefits manager majority owned by private equity firm Summit Partners, is exploring a sale that could value it at around $1 billion, including debt, people familiar with the matter said on Friday.

The Hartford, Connecticut-based company is working with investment banks UBS Group AG UBSG.S and Allen & Co on the sale process, the sources said, cautioning that discussions were still in the early stages and there is no guarantee they will result in a deal.

The sources asked not to be identified because the deliberations are confidential. CareCentrix, Summit Partners and Allen & Co did not immediately respond to requests for comment. UBS declined to comment.

CareCentrix partners with healthcare payers to administer their benefits programs for patients who need post-acute care, which can range from treatment in skilled nursing facilities to home healthcare.

It has 12-month earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of more than $90 million, the sources said.

The company is poised to benefit from the rapidly aging U.S. population, which increased demand for post-acute care and increases enrollment in Medicare Advantage programs.

Meanwhile, large health insurers are finally on the lookout for new deals after regulators shot down two planned health insurance mega-mergers earlier this year.

Indianapolis-based health insurer Anthem ANTM.N acquired Medicare Advantage health plan provider HealthSun earlier this month for an undisclosed sum. HealthSun was also owned by a consortium lead by Summit Partners.

The same month, health insurer Centene Corp CNC.N acquired non-profit insurer Fidelis Care for $3.75 billion.

Reuters previously reported that benefits manager eviCore is exploring a sale that could potentially value it at more than $4 billion.

Earlier this year, Humana said it plans to intensify its focus on its Medicare Advantage business and add to its healthcare services platform, including in home health.

Reporting by Carl O’Donnell in New York; Editing by Bill Trott