UnitedHealth Group Inc. announced it is buying most of Brazilian insurer and hospital operator Amil Participacoes SA for $4.9 billion.
Minnetonka, Minn.-based UnitedHealth, the parent company of UnitedHealthcare of Wisconsin in Wauwatosa, said it is buying 90 percent of Amil in Brazil, considered the fastest-growing health care market outside of the United States.
UnitedHealth Group is the largest health benefits and services company in the United States.
“Brazil has emerged as a consistently growing and evolving market for private sector health benefits and services. Its growing economy, emerging middle class and progressive policies toward managed care make it a high potential growth market,” said Stephen Hemsley, president and chief executive officer of UnitedHealth Group. “Combining Amil, the clear market leader serving an under-penetrated market of nearly 200 million people, with UnitedHealth Group’s experiences and capabilities developed over the last three decades is the most compelling growth and value creation opportunity we have seen in years.”
Edson Bueno, the founder and CEO of Amil, and Dulce Pugliese control about 70 percent of Amil’s shares. They will retain about 10 percent of the company for at least five years. Bueno will continue to serve as chief executive of Amil, which insures 5.9 million people.