The retail healthcare buyout bonanza doesn’t seem to want to take a week off, and Cano Health is now the latest company to drum up acquisition rumors.
The Wall Street Journal first reported that “talks are serious” and could be wrapped up in the next few weeks, with Cano already attracting attention from at least two potential suitors.
The first was Humana, who already has strong ties to Cano following a $100M investment in 2019. The second turned out to be none other than everyone’s favorite drugstore turned healthcare heavyweight, CVS Health.
Before we get too ahead of ourselves, Cano Health is a value-based primary care provider with 143 clinics in 9 states and mostly focuses on the Medicare Advantage population.
- Cano went public via a SPAC merger in 2021 at a $4.4B valuation and since then has fared about as well as other SPACs of the same vintage. Let’s just say it still isn’t quite back to that $4.4B mark, even after shares popped 30% on the takeover rumors.
- Similar to Amazon’s recent pickup, One Medical, Cano has been looking for ways to raise capital to sustain its operations – and given that 44% of Cano’s 282k members are in the MA program – pursuing an acquisition by a major payor makes sense.
For Humana’s part, an interesting stipulation in its earlier investment in Cano gives the payor first right-of-refusal in the event of a sale.
- Humana is already second in the MA market behind only UnitedHealthcare, and it’s been very vocal about plans to add over 100 more senior-focused clinics by 2025.
CVS Health, and by extension Aetna, has also been aggressively pushing into the MA market and isn’t shy about acquiring the strategic pieces to do so. See Signify Health.
- After losing out on the One Medical acquisition to a tech giant with deep pockets, Cano would be a great way for CVS to continue building out its clinical assets.
Big ticket acquisitions are turning into regular fixtures in our top story coverage as the crash in high flying valuations puts plenty of appetizing startups on the M&A menu. In the case of Cano, whoever comes out on top will gain a strong foothold in senior primary care, and it’s easy to imagine that other acquirers will be hungrily eyeing other players in the space like Oak Street and ChenMed.