And here’s a lighter take on the Disney-Fox talks, courtesy of Paul Pendergass, formerly DealBook’s “Jack Flack” columnist.
Today’s DealBook Briefing was written by Andrew Ross Sorkin in New York, and Michael J. de la Merced and Amie Tsang in London.
UnitedHealth leads more upheaval in health care.
UnitedHealth’s $4.9 billion takeover of a physician group from DaVita may not be as big as CVS’s deal for Aetna. But it highlights how fast traditional boundaries in health care are dissolving.
UnitedHealth has been disrupting the industry for a long time. It already owns a pharmacy benefit manager and an outpatient services provider. Now the DaVita division will give it a doctor network.
Reed Abelson of the NYT quoted Craig Garthwaite, a health economist at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management, on integration:
“There’s no chance that the existing companies, be they hospital or insurers, have the right configuration of assets to be successful” at turning health care into a business where the parties are able to produce better outcomes at a lower cost, he said.
• Brooke Sutherland and Max Nisen write, “Steady diversification with small deals is the kind of strategy that can win this race.” (Gadfly)
• Charley Grant writes, “With cheap credit readily available and UnitedHealth’s sparkling long-term returns as an inducement, the recipe for succeeding in health care is pretty clear.” (Heard on the Street)
Extra credit: Barclays and Goldman Sachs will each lend CVS $20 billion as part of the Aetna takeover, the kind of big deal lending that was traditionally the province of JPMorgan Chase, according to the WSJ.