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Teladoc bets big on online medicine with $18.5 billion Livongo deal

Stock MarketsAug 05, 2020 08:45AM ET
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© Reuters.

By Manas Mishra and Noor Zainab Hussain

(Reuters) - Teladoc Health Inc (N:TDOC) has agreed to buy chronic care provider Livongo Health Inc (O:LVGO) in a deal valuing the company at $18.5 billion that bets on a boom in online care and consultations spurred by the coronavirus crisis.

Demand for the virtual healthcare provided by both companies has skyrocketed as the pandemic kept patients from visiting their doctors, sending shares in both companies surging this year and encouraging expectations for future growth.

The biggest and best known provider of a range of phone and online-based services for Americans, Teladoc is set to benefit from an order signed by President Donald Trump on Monday expanding access to telehealth for 57 million Americans.

Under Wednesday's deal, it will pay 0.5920 of one of its shares plus $11.33 in cash for each Livongo, amounting to $158.98, a 10% premium to Livongo's closing price on Tuesday and adding up to a purchase price of around $15.6 billion, according to Reuters calculations.

"This merger firmly establishes Teladoc Health at the forefront of the next-generation of healthcare," Teladoc Health Chief Executive Officer Jason Gorevic said.

One recent study estimated 46% of Americans now use telehealth to replace cancelled visits, up from just 11% in 2019, and Trump's order will reinforce its use in under-served rural areas and elsewhere in the months to come.

Pre-COVID-19, the total annual revenues of U.S. telehealth players were an estimated $3 billion. The study by consultants McKinsey & Company estimate up to $250 billion of current U.S. healthcare spend could become virtualized.

Shares in Livongo, up 477% this year, gained 14% in premarket trade to race past the purchase price. Teladoc, whose access to capital has been bolstered by a doubling of the value of its own shares since January, dipped 4%.

Gorevic will continue to head the new company, which will be called Teladoc Health and headquartered in Purchase, New York. It will have 2020 pro forma revenue of about $1.3 billion.

Teladoc shareholders will own about 58% of the new company, with the deal expected to close by the end of 2020.

Teladoc bets big on online medicine with $18.5 billion Livongo deal

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