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The Wall Street Journal: UnitedHealth agrees to $3.2 billion deal to buy payments company Equian

UnitedHealth Group Inc. has agreed to buy health-care payments firm Equian LLC from its private-equity owner for about $3.2 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.

Equian, owned by New Mountain Capital, offers payment-processing services for health-care companies and insurers and touts an ability to reduce mistakes that cause overpayment.

It is likely that UnitedHealth UNH, -0.97% would merge Equian into its Optum health-services arm, a rapidly growing part of its business that caters to insurers, hospitals and other health-care companies. Equian would add to its array of offerings and help Optum branch out beyond health care, since Equian has other types of insurers as clients as well.

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