GigCapital2 to merge with two telehealth firms in $1.35 billion deal

(Reuters) – Blank-check acquisition company 2 Inc has agreed to merge with UpHealth Holdings Inc and Cloudbreak Health LLC to create a digital healthcare company valued at $1.35 billion, the companies said on Monday.

The deal is the latest in a string of mergers seeking to capitalize on the growth in telemedicine fueled by the COVID-19 pandemic. Direct-to-consumer health company Hims Inc and acute care telemedicine company Inc also clinched deals with so-called special purposed acquisition companies (SPACs) this year.

A SPAC such as 2 is a shell company that uses proceeds from an initial public offering (IPO) to acquire a private company, typically within two years. A merger with a SPAC is an alternative to a traditional IPO that more private companies have turned to this year.

By combining UpHealth Holdings and Cloudbreak, 2 said in a statement that it plans to create a company focused on digital care management, telehealth, digital pharmacy and technology-enabled behavioral health. The companies were confirming an earlier report on their deal.

The newly created company will generate approximately $115 million in revenue in 2020, according to the statement.

“We’re operating in the fastest growing areas of telehealth,” Chirinjeev Kathuria, co-founder of UpHealth, said in an interview. “COVID-19 has definitely accelerated our growth, but we’re not COVID-19 dependent.”

The deal comes after 2 abandoned a non-binding $880 million agreement it entered into last month to merge with Bolder Industries, a maker of recyclable plastic and rubber.

2 decided that telehealth was a more attractive sector to focus on.

“We’ve been talking with UpHealth for many months,” said Avi Katz, founder of 2. “The company is profitable, and in the environment of COVID-19, people really wanted to see more advanced healthcare players in the public market.”

2, which raised $150 million in an IPO in June 2019, plans to raise $160 million in form of a private investment in public equity, or transaction, to help finance the new deal, Katz said.

Source: Reuters – GigCapital2 to merge with two telehealth firms in $1.35 billion deal