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Cardinal Health to acquire Specialty Networks and its PPS Analytics platform

The transaction creates increased clinical and economic value for 11,500 specialty providers, including more than 7,000 physicians across 1,200 independent physician practices

Cardinal Health announced on Jan. 31 that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Specialty Networks, a technology-enabled multi-specialty group purchasing and practice enhancement organization for $1.2B in cash. Specialty Networks creates clinical and economic value for independent specialty providers and partners across multiple specialty GPOs: UroGPO, Gastrologix and GastroGPO, and United Rheumatology.    

The acquisition of Specialty Networks demonstrates Cardinal Health's strategic prioritization of investing to accelerate growth in its Specialty business and provide leading-edge technologies, capabilities, and talent that address critical business and customer needs. This acquisition complements Cardinal Health's offering in key therapeutic areas by enhancing the company's downstream provider-focused analytics capabilities and service offerings and by accelerating its upstream data and research opportunities with biopharma manufacturers.  

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"Expanding in specialty is a top priority for us and we have been investing to expand our offering," said Jason Hollar, CEO Cardinal Health. "The acquisition of Specialty Networks enhances our specialty strategy by providing new capabilities that strengthen the link between our downstream and upstream services, enabling us to create value for customers, manufacturer partners and patients."  

"Specialty Networks is a leader in specialty practice management, research and technologies that support physicians in delivering best-in-class care to their patients," said Debbie Weitzman, CEO, Cardinal Health Pharmaceutical and Specialty Solutions. "Combining their unique service offerings and advanced technology solutions like PPS Analytics with our distribution partnerships and operations will enhance our value proposition for our specialty GPO members across therapeutic areas. Together, we will positively affect the lives of countless patients." 

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Specialty Networks' PPS Analytics analyzes data from electronic medical records (EMR), practice management, imaging, and dispensing systems and transforms it into meaningful and actionable insights for providers, researchers, payers and policymakers. Using artificial intelligence, such as continuous-learning algorithms and natural language processing, and modern data analytics tools, PPS Analytics analyzes millions of data points, generating valuable insights for diagnostic and therapeutic interventions for the right patient at the right time. A strong complement to the distribution, research and technology capabilities of Cardinal Health, it will expand the holistic suite of clinical, practice management and distribution solutions offered to support the success of specialty practices nationwide.  

Additionally, Specialty Networks' deep understanding of independent specialty physician practices offers Cardinal Health unique capabilities and expertise that will accelerate the company's ongoing development of the Navista Network, which is focused on supporting the clinical and operational needs of independent community oncologists.  

"Specialty Networks and Cardinal Health are united in their mission to deliver value for specialty physician practices and their patients and manufacturers with best-in-class offerings," said Shailendra Sharma, CEO, Specialty Networks, who will continue leading the business as part of Cardinal Health. "This partnership is a strong cultural fit and a big win for physicians and patients." 

Cardinal Health's Pharmaceutical and Specialty Solutions segment operates one of the largest pharmaceutical supply chains in the U.S. with strategically located distribution centers that enable fast and efficient delivery anywhere in the country. Through its Specialty business, Cardinal Health provides reliable distribution and advanced technology solutions to community-based practices across the nation.  

This transaction is subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, including receipt of required regulatory approvals. The transaction is expected to be accretive to non-GAAP earnings per share 12 months following close. 

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